By Matthew Jamu
Media Center in partnership with Hurungwe Community Radio held several interface and trainings with a deliberate bias towards equipping citizen journalists with basic journalistic skills. Citizen journalists were drawn from 26 rural wards in Hurungwe District and ten from Karoi urban giving a total of thirty six citizen journalists.
Furthermore, Media Center in partnership with Hurungwe Community Radio also held interface meetings with several Civil Society Organizations which included Chakanyuka foundation, Karoi urban residents associations and National Aids Council.
Interactive meetings with residents associations were meant to equip them with skills and knowledge pertaining to governance statutes of local authorities. The main thrust was to enable these organizations to hold local authorities accountable in so far as their operations are concerned.
The interactive meeting held with Chakanyuka Foundation was held in the midst of the first hard lockdown in 2020. The Chakanyuka Foundation is an organization whose main thrust is to assist orphans, the aged as well as the less privileged. The meeting also brought together some local leaderships in the form of village heads. Hurungwe Community Radio acted as a vehicle to disseminate information pertaining to raising awareness on Covid 19 especially in rural communities.
People living with HIV/Aids suffered the double tragedy of stigmatization and challenges in accessing anti-retroviral drugs during lockdowns. Media Center in collaboration with Hurungwe Community Radio provided the National Aids Council with a platform to alert people facing this predicament on how to overcome the challenges. It was refreshing to note that after the audio from NAC was aired on the Hurungwe Community Radio WhatsApp platform there was a positive change in attitude by members of the security forces who were allegedly denying these affected people.
By and large, the partnership between Media Center and Hurungwe Community Radio has been very fruitful notwithstanding some challenges faced some of our journalists especially on issues to do with gadgets and data so as to smoothly carry out their mandate. Going forward, it is our fervent wish and hope that Media Center will continue to play its collaborative role with our organization so as to improve access to information by marginalized communities and also bringing to the fore developmental issues which are hitherto kept under wraps due to unavailability of news outlets.