In North East Africa, our partners' shortwave radio content reaches remote locations. With many people living in primarily oral communities in these areas, information, news and stories are often passed on by word of mouth.  Broadcasting informative and engaging audio material is a great way to serve these communities.

The radio is a prized possession with two or three families, children and adults, gathering around it to hear what is being said. “Our listeners sing and pray along with the radio. Some even call it their pastor,” says *Dawit, Regional Media Advisor, North East Africa.

I love radio ministry because it speaks to millions of individuals as a friend in their own language

*Dawit, Regional Media Advisor

Following some health and wellbeing broadcasts, one listener said: “I showed my Mum and Dad the metre band on their radio, after which they continued to listen to the programmes every evening. When I went home for my next vacation, my father’s heart was changed and he had stopped smoking.”

Radio frequency display

Shortwave = long reach

Unlike FM signals that have a relatively short range, shortwave radio can have a massive range.  Despite being called "short" the signal reach is long – shortwave can be received thousands of miles from the transmitter, and transmissions can travel over whole countries, oceans and even mountain ranges.  

In a region where religious broadcasting is illegal, shortwave radio programmes can come in from outside the area, crossing religious, political and geographical boundaries, transforming people’s lives.  

“Your Thursday evening programmes have helped me and my wife not to destroy our marriage because we heard this teaching from the Word of God. I and my wife now forgive each other so we live together again. Because of this, our children are now happy,” says another listener.

The programmes are produced in different languages so that audiences can hear the life-saving message in their own heart language, and they cover issues that matter to the listeners.

One farmer called and told the producer, “We feel like you are having coffee with us.”

Read more: What is the difference between SW, MW and FM radio?

Our partners receive a lot of feedback from their listeners with one receiving around 400 phone calls and letters a month. When possible the programme producers travel to meet their listeners, sharing contact information and encouraging listeners to contact them. This can be a special time when the voice on the radio becomes the person in front of them.

"I love radio ministry because it speaks to millions of individuals as a friend in their own language." says *Dawit.

A little more than a £100 can reach millions with a lifesaving message

A significant proportion of the population in the area live in remote rural villages. Shortwave radio is well placed to serve these communities. Dawit explains: “Because of the remote context, modern media are not relevant. Only about six percent of the population have access to the internet.”

Internet access might be difficult in remote locations, but the people have radios. Not only is this a culturally appropriate and practical way to reach the communities – it’s cost effective too. Dawit tells us: “A little more than a £100 can reach millions with a lifesaving message.”

With your support, Feba's partners can continue these life changing broadcasts. Give in prayer or donate now

*name changed for security reasons.