New radio show in Bangladesh puts the Red Crescent in touch with communities

Published: 17 December 2014 15:41 CET

By Maude Froberg, IFRC

As a step to improve community communications, the very first live call-in radio programme was launched on 11 December by Bangladesh Red Crescent Society through community radio in the Kurigram district.  

“Hello Red Crescent: We Listen To You!” is the only one of its kind in Asia Pacific, and will rotate between community radio stations located in some of the most vulnerable areas of Bangladesh. The aim is to provide communities with useful and practical information related to disaster response and development, and to provide the opportunities to ask the Red Crescent questions.

This series, which began with a discussion on ‘How to Prepare and Stay Healthy in Winter’, drew so many calls that the Community Radio station had to extend the show for an additional 30 minutes. Many requests were made by listeners to continue this show in future with an expanded 1 hour running time. It was clear that the information shared with communities’ was relevant to the current winter context and communities had good understanding of the Red Crescent’s humanitarian services. The radio show also allowed the society’s Kurigram unit to seek additional aid support from local organisations and individuals to maintain its winter operations.

"The interest in this type of radio show was so much greater than we anticipated,” said Sayeeda Farhana, Senior Disaster Management Officer, IFRC Bangladesh Delegation. "To us it shows the need to enhance the two-way dialogue with disaster-affected communities. Such a call-in radio programme can promote the scope of effective partnership. On this platform people will be able to share their experiences and discuss with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society how to mitigate underlying vulnerabilities in the communities.”