Radio Clubs are a widely accepted concept and implemented by several different agencies. CRC have been creating and supporting them since 2009 and their tally now exceeds 300, some of which are spontaneous spin-offs and not directly created by CRC. Learning gained from each set of clubs has informed the evolution of the approach adopted with subsequent Radio Clubs; over time, the emphasis has shifted progressively towards developing their role as mechanisms for community development and incorporating income-generating components to support sustainable functioning.
After CRC supplied training, a radio and reporting formats, the Radio Clubs’ core activity has been listening in a group to radio programs developed by CRC. Focusing on themes of peace and development, these programs are broadcast on local radio at a regular time. After listening to the show, the group discusses the theme and then shares the information gained with wider members of the community. CRC combined the more practical household and development topics with training and programs on peaceful cohabitation as well as the prevention and resolution of conflicts. The Radio Club members were also given advice on how to establish joint savings schemes and other community initiatives, but were deliberately not given immediate financial support. CRC helped the Radio Clubs to obtain a shared club field and provided some very basic equipment and seeds to get them started. The original plan was to wait until the second year – when they would be functioning well as groups and will have had time to assess the need for community initiatives – and then provide them with loans for community initiatives: however this plan had to be dropped when it became apparent that the micro-finance pilot needed to be situated near Beni.