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Community Radio Station launched in Mahaxay, Khammuan Province

The community radio station, which is run by community volunteers, uses a bottom-up and two-way communication approach to provide a platform for people – including the marginalized and disadvantaged people who do not speak the official Lao tongue – to receive information in ethnic languages relevant to their needs and interests, express their thoughts and issues, share knowledge, validate their culture, and help them make informed decisions.

On Dec 7, the Community Radio Station in Mahaxay District, Khammuan Province, was officially launched.

As part of the Russian Federation-supported project “Enhancing Social and Economic Opportunities for Youth in the Lao PDR”, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) contributed more than 899 million kip, while the government contributed more than 123 million kip. Pilot broadcasts on FM 98 Mhz began on Aug 11 with 20 programmes broadcasting from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., covering 90% of the city and some of the surrounding districts of Khammuan and Savannakhet.

In August 2020, the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism conducted a survey with provincial, district, and information offices, as well as the Information, Culture, and Tourism Office, to determine the need for the establishment of a community radio station, which surveyed – designed, cleared the area for, and built radio buildings, built power plants, procured station equipment, installed towers, and internet.

Mr KeoOudone Boutsingkhone, Deputy Governor of Khammuan, and Mr. Chanthalath Pongmala, a representative from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Lao PDR, delivered remarks at the event.

Other honorable guests at the event included Mr. Phetsamone Phonesavath, Deputy Chief of the Khammuan Provincial Office, as well as the Mayor of Mahaxay District, the Media Department of the Ministry of Tourism, the Chief of the Khammuan Provincial Police Department, representatives and other stakeholders in the district.

“The community radio requires sector-related attention management, protection to sustain attention development personnel as well as community youth with knowledge, skills and awareness as to carry out the assignments,” Assoc. Pro. Dr. KeoOudone Boutsingkhone stated.

Following the launch, youth community volunteers who were trained in radio techniques, programme production, and management skills since July 2021, received a refresher training from 8 to 10 December 2021, to further strengthen ongoing capacity building, acquire new knowledge, and skill sharing at the individual and institutional levels.

Furthermore, the community radio aims to increase youth participation in participatory advocacy and monitoring, in order to popularize development concepts, the Sustainable Development Goals, and national development priorities in a language preferred and understood by rural communities, as well as to create multiple channels to receive feedback and measure impacts.

Source: Lao News Agency