When listeners got involved, TWR’s national partner in Malawi took a big step toward realizing a longstanding dream of covering the country with clear gospel radio broadcasts.
TWR Malawi already had 10 FM transmitting sites across this southeastern African nation of 18 million people when its “Let Karonga Hear” campaign was launched this summer. Karonga is a growing town on the northwestern shore of massive Lake Malawi.
Donations reached the campaign goal and exceeded it, totaling 16 million kwacha, or over US$22,000. That’s an especially impressive accomplishment in a developing country where the average annual income is roughly equivalent to US$1,000 and more than half the population is classified as poor.
Victor Kaonga, national director of TWR Malawi, said donations continued to come in after the Aug. 31, 2018, deadline.
“Listeners have done it and have made us extremely proud and thankful to God for the generous giving,” Kaonga said. “… This is the first time in Malawi that listeners have mobilized such a big amount and in just a month and half.”
Illustrating the enthusiasm of supporters was a pastor who showed up at the ministry’s office carrying his donation on a motorcycle. The pastor wore his backpack in front to make room for the donation – a huge sack of harvested groundnuts. Anthony Barkhuizen, TWR Africa’s fund development manager, said people in this part of the world often give a portion of the family harvest in lieu of cash when donating to Christian causes.
Word about the campaign was spread by radio spots, posters, social media and email. More than 1,300 people contributed toward the goal.
The money raised will pay for transmitter equipment, installation costs and frequency fees. After the Karonga transmitter is up and running, plans call for a final site to be established in Chitipa, less than 60 miles away, to realize the dream of reaching the entire country with Christian programming.
The national director believes the Karonga site will be ready to start broadcasting by the end of 2018.
Among the programs produced in the local language by TWR Malawi are these:
- Nkhomaliro ya Mau – seven pastors take turns addressing evangelistic and discipleship principles.
- Tisanthule Baibulo – the Chewa-language version of Thru the Bible.
- Nzeru pa Chuma – a talk show known in English as Wisdom for Wealth that focuses on business and entrepreneurship and features a renowned inspirational leader who is also a member of the ministry’s board.
- Sewero – a drama that tackles a wide range of issues, from marriage to witchcraft to human rights.
- Top photo by Greg Schneider
- TWR Malawi board chairwoman Tadala Chinkwezule with a poster promoting the campaign
- Pastor Josephat Banda, a participant in a radio program, welcomes another pastor (name unavailable) who donated a sack from his groundnut harvest.