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Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) has been struggling for the last 20 years for opening up and strengthening the community media sector including Community Radio and giving focus on its vital role as voices of the voiceless rural people from 2000. www.bnnrc.net
BNNRC is in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accredited with World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) of the United Nations and UN WSIS prize winner 2016, Champion 2017, 2019 & 2020!
BNNRC has been mobilizing all community radios for developing and broadcasting awareness building programs on COVID-19: contamination to protect lives and livelihoods since March 1, 2020 to 31 May 2020.
During March 1, 2020 to 31 May 2020 BNNRC has been working on COVID -19 covering with the following issues: 1. Animate CSOs, Government, health service providers and communities for reinforcing collective action in pre and during COVID-19 2. Response for achieving keeping community people’s daily life normal and livelihood function, 3. Mobilize further cooperation among government, CSOs, local market and communities’ response
In times of crisis, information saves lives. In the response to Covid-19, we see how vital it is to get accurate and trusted messages to people so that they know what they need to do and where they can get help when they need it. Now 18 Community Radios stations in Bangladesh have been broadcasting 165 hours Coronavirus prevention education with the active participation of community people. There are 1000 community youth and youth women community radio broadcasters broadcast program for 6.5 million listeners and watcher.
From 1st June, 2020 BNNRC has developed COVID-19: Adaptation Initiatives and Interventions according to Technical Instructions of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on COVID-19 Pandemic to Protect and Control Social and Institutional Contamination that can help to look at the response through an equity lens, focus on people’s enhanced capabilities & follow a coherent multidimensional approach for achieving of the four specific objectives below:
Enhance the capabilities of affected communities through an equity lens for adapting/coping/surviving with the new normal situation
Focus on enhanced capabilities of Broadcasters and Stakeholders for exercising new normal and building resilience
Accelerate of ICT applications for benefitting community people in all aspects of life
Effective access to reliable information through ICT and media for countering infodemic and keeping lives & livelihood easy
Community Radios stations, as one of the sources of information, helping to raise awareness on COVID- 19 and reinforcing Behavior Change Communication (BCC) by CSOs, Government, health officials and locally elected bodies (LEB). Community Radio stations are building awareness to change attitudes among community people at different points in their daily lives. Community Radio stations, as a platform for those who involve in COVID -19 responses to update rural communities. They are also providing a channel for two-way communication with community people where listeners are sending SMS or call in with questions. Community Radio stations have been coordinating with the District and Upazila level Coronavirus Prevention Committees. Community Radio stations have assigned one broadcaster in each radio stations as the focal person to coordinate COVID – 19 programs.
Community Radio stations are broadcasting programs on COVID -19 in local languages or dialects. Community Radio stations are producing contents which speaks directly to localized issues and concerns, and features trusted local people in a way that nationally or regionally produced content cannot. It is really working and having a very positive effect at the rural communities. Community Radio stations help to reduce the panic of COVID – 19 gradually by broadcasting awareness programs. Now the community people are taking precautionary measures to prevent contamination of COVID – 19. People now understand more about the COVID – 19. Community Radio stations have already been established a well-trusted source of information for rural people of Bangladesh.