Ros Elliott is taking her community radio experience to Nairobi for the Red Cross and AusAID.
Story and photo Eve Jeffery
Always passionate about community, and in particular community radio, Ros Elliott is going international this week as she heads to Kenya to take part in a community radio project in Nairobi.
Ros, who is well known locally for her work with Byron’s community radio BayFM, is traveling under the banner of the Red Cross and AusAID.
She will be working in Nairobi with African Community Development Media (ACDM), an organisation whose objective is to strengthen the capacity of communities to formulate, articulate and interpret development issues.
ACDM aims to provide a platform for communities to access information and is committed to spreading community-based radio stations to all constituencies so that communities can generate their media and determine issues that are important to them.
‘My role is to work with an existing team of eight people who want somebody to help create content for community radio in Nairobi itself,’ she told Echonetdaily.
‘They are thinking a series or a radio play or something like that. We will work together. My Kenyan colleagues will identify what development issues they want to get across and together we will work out how to do it.’
Ros, who went through a rigorous process to be chosen for the project, says that she will be living in an environment where HIV and poverty are prevalent.
‘People live on less than a dollar a day.’
Ros left Australia last Friday to make her way to Africa. She will live in Kenya for a year and be a part of the community radio projects which have been up and running for ten years.
‘The infrastructure is there. I don’t know how sophisticated their radio stations might be. I have got an idea that it will be mostly young men into hip-hop.
‘Working in another culture is going to be a big challenge.’
Ros also says that one of the biggest challenges for her will be city living.
‘What I am going to miss is living off the land. I am used to my fruit trees and veggie garden. I will miss fresh-grown stuff and the therapeutic benefits of gardening.’
Ros’s personal message is loud and clear: she cannot speak highly enough of community radio. She says her experience in community radio and the skills she has acquired are what had led her to Africa.
‘If you get involved in community radio you never know where it is going to take you.’
You can follow Ros’s adventures on her blog at osjambonairobi.blogspot.com.au.