Thursday, 07 Aug 2014

Mentorship a high impact intervention resulting in a weekly health program on radio

Journalists in a learning session at Internews Media Resource Centre in Nairobi. Mentoring learners helps them master skills faster than if they were to learn on their own. Photo: Internews in Kenya.

By Ann Mikia

Kamadi Amata had not been trained by Internews in Kenya, but he got to hear about the organization through colleagues. He requested to use the Writespot (Media Resource Centre) to do his first radio feature story on the dangers of the morning after pill for school girls. After showing potential in health reporting, Kamadi was put on the mentoring program. His editors were impressed with the new level of his production and tapped into his interest in health reporting. Through mentorship and support from his editors, Kamadi has been able to initiate a weekly live health program called ‘Afya Yako’ (Your Health) on ‘Mtaani FM,’ a community radio station situated in Nairobi.  The program runs on Wednesdays from 08h00 – 09h00. 

Besides acquiring skills on radio feature production, Kamadi received mentorship on devising story angles, sourcing for story subjects and expert commentators and content research. For example, he learnt about different forms of TB and how to prepare for a live show. 

Mtaani FM serves the Dagoretti area with a population of more than 200,000 people.  The community is also a host of several informal settlements that experience health issues tied to overcrowding and poor sanitation, HIV and other diseases. Insecurity also increases the incidence of sexual violence.  Kamadi’s health program brings to this community a platform to learn and find solutions for health issues.

After attending a tuberculosis symposium in March 2014 at Internews in Kenya, he produced three radio features on TB which he used to kick off the show. He is currently undergoing mentorship on his next series that will focus on family planning.

 “I have learnt a lot from this health program and even my bosses are very happy about the new content in the program. Also, many listeners are now listening to our station”, said Kamadi.

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