During our recent visit to the DRC, we met Komalungo Mwango Sylvano, who is a health worker with the Anglican church in North Kivu.  He told us that he was thrilled that Feba is back in the Congo after 30 years. 

Komalungo used to listen to Feba’s French broadcasts on Shortwave in the late 1970’s and 80’s.  It was a turbulent time in the country’s history and Komalungo told us that many people in the Chiefdom of Watalinga, in what was then known as Zaire, preferred to listen to Feba.

Now we have Umoja FM which is on the air many hours each day giving us news and information

Komalungo Mwango Sylvano, listener in the Congo 

Komalungo Mwango Sylvano, Health Worker.  Nobili, DRC. 2016.

They used to broadcast interesting programmes about issues of life and God’s word.  The broadcasts were spiritually uplifting with good music,” he recalls.  "Sadly the programmes then stopped broadcasting on shortwave and we don’t know what happened."

With low literacy rates - around 52% of women and 80% for men - people in the DRC often rely on radio as a way to serve their information needs.

As a multilingual country with over 200 languages spoken, mainstream media outlets tend to use one of the four national languages (Lingala, Swahili, Tshiluba and Kikongo) so sometimes rural populations speaking local languages miss out.  Umoja FM broadcasts in several languages to make sure the information needs of the local population are being met, and Komalungo has high hopes for what the station can provide to listeners.

You can imagine how pleased I was when I heard that Feba was helping to set up a radio station in my own village of Nobili.  Now we have Umoja FM which is on the air many hours each day giving us news and information about what’s happening in the area and containing information that is of great help to our community.”

On the same visit, engineer Paul Vernon discovered that Umoja FM was not only powered by the strength of the community but also by...cocoa?

Find out more: Cocoa Powered Radio Station.

Umoja FM is not our only exciting project in the DRC.  

Mungongo ya Muana - Voice of the Child - is a market radio station, staffed by young reporters looking to address the stigma of witchcraft accusations that street youth face in the capital, Kinshasa.  Two fantastic projects run by, and for, communities in the DRC.  

Hearing Komalungo's enthusiasm for Feba's return to the DRC through community radio was a real blessing and encouragement for the team - it's always good to hear stories of the long-term impact of Feba's ministry.  We look forward to hearing more feedback from both projects soon! 

Could you give to these projects in prayer?  

This week our prayers are focused on these two community radio projects in the DRC, so do join us in prayer throughout the week.

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Published: 11th August 2016