On World Radio Day 2014, TWR is pleased to join UNESCO and broadcasters everywhere in recognizing the vital role this medium plays in people’s lives.
UNESCO established World Radio Day in 2011 in an effort to “raise awareness about the importance of radio, facilitate access to information through radio and enhance networking among broadcasters.” Taking place each year on Feb. 13, the event highlights radio’s special capacity as a low-cost medium to “reach remote communities and vulnerable people” and to assist with “emergency communication and disaster relief.”
Listen closely and you might hear a hearty “Amen to that!” coming from TWR offices around the world. Although TWR’s overriding priority through 60 years of broadcasting has been to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth, the media ministry also has been keenly aware that Jesus healed the blind and fed the hungry and admonished his followers to aid the least of his brothers.
Because of that, alongside the wide range of programs featuring in-depth biblical teaching, TWR broadcasts many programs that aim at promoting health, dealing with social issues and providing help in the aftermath of disasters. Here is a sampling of some of that outreach:
- Women of Hope – from domestic abuse to sex trafficking to skills training, Project Hannah’s flagship program raises awareness about the problems and needs of women worldwide and harnesses a massive prayer campaign on their behalf.
- Dr. Luke – developed by a physician, this program emphasizes both physical and spiritual health and covers health topics such as cancer, stroke, maternity care, diabetes and many more. It is especially effective in developing nations lacking plentiful access to medical care.
- Tools for Wise Leadership – aired across Sub-Saharan Africa, this 15-minute program strives not only to develop strong Christian leaders but also to help people lead successful lives and have an impact on their communities. Nurturing transformational leaders with practical leadership skills for Africa is the intended result of Tools for Wise Leadership.
- Foundations for Farming – The goal of this program is to promote food security and income generation for families, starting from a solid grounding in Scripture.
These are only a few of the programs aired over TWR’s global network of regional transmitters and local stations that seek to address the temporal – in other words, the societal and physical issues cited in UNESCO’s laudable declaration – as well as the spiritual needs of listeners.
And there is much other programming that fits this category, including the Member Care Media recordings described as “psychological first aid” that have been used after Hurricane Katrina, an earthquake in Haiti and the recent typhoon in the Philippines. Also, paralleling UNESCO’s endorsement of radio for reaching illiterate audiences, TWR has become intimately involved in the orality movement, recognizing that broadcasting is often the best way for oral learners to receive information. A response from a listener in Ecuador points out a big bonus to such an approach:
“I didn’t know how to read or write, but just by listening to the Bible teachings, I have learned to read and now can do it quite easily.”