Active in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2002, Fondation Hirondelle consolidated in 2020, under the name “Studio Hirondelle DRC”, its support for informing the population through production and broadcast of local content, in partnership with more than 100 radio and TV stations throughout the country.
In 2021, Studio Hirondelle DRC refined its strategy in order to “contribute to the consolidation of democracy in the DRC through better involvement of the Congolese population – especially women and youth – in public life through professional and committed media”. It aims to strengthen the quality of public interest information and the way it is produced in the DRC, by supporting the media that produce it and the professional organizations that structure them, particularly in view of the next presidential election scheduled for December 2023.
Studio Hirondelle DRC also provides content through “Ngoma Ya Kongo”, a radio programme produced from the central newsroom in Kinshasa.
604 836 CHF
Sources of Funding
• European Union
• Switzerland (SDC Programme contribution)
• Switzerland (SDC Project Contribution)
• Fondation Helvétique de Bienfaisance
• Income-generating products
ADAPTING TO CRISES TO MEET THE INFORMATION NEEDS OF CONGOLESE PEOPLE
In 2021, Studio Hirondelle DRC consolidated its question- and-answer programme on Covid-19, which has been acclaimed by listeners and radio partners. It followed the evolution of the pandemic by adapting to the topics, responding to rumours and scepticism about the disease, its treatment and vaccines. By also addressing other health crises in the country, the programme has become a key health event for radio partners’ listeners. In addition, the economic and social effects of the pandemic on the DRC continued into 2021. They were covered by Studio Hirondelle DRC, in particular through a series of reports made by mixed teams of correspondents and journalists from the central editorial office, following the daily life of affected citizens (students, fisherwomen, etc.) from Goma to Kinshasa via Lubumbashi.
In 2021, the 120 hours of “Ngoma Ya Kongo” programmes were relayed by 108 radio partners covering the 26 provinces of DRC. In the second half of the year, “Ngoma Ya Kongo” inaugurated a monthly debate, bringing the Congolese people into dialogue. Several highlights of current events in the DRC were discussed, such as the results of free primary education and the DRC’s participation in COP26. Long reports, analysis and in-depth programmes completed this new content as the country faced challenges: security challenges, such as the state of siege in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu; and natural disasters such as the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano, which the editorial staff covered in depth, providing service information to populations in distress.
In South Kivu, Studio Hirondelle DRC launched a two-year project (2021-2022) to support citizen participation through strengthened media: training in Swahili for a group of 20 radio stations and some 40 media agents. In North Kivu, 2021 ended with support for the creation of a radio station for youth and women in Kitschanga, a particularly isolated area prone to insecurity.