TFF & Foundation Radio (100 FM) in Bamenda, Cameroon
Giving Voice to The Voiceless
Foundation Radio (FR) prides itself on being one of the first in-country pillars of the Fomunyoh Foundation (TFF). Although the foundation’s activities in Cameroon precede the advent of FR by almost a decade, FR is the first institutional organ of TFF to go operational within the head office complex in Ngomagham, Bamenda. TFF founder Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, and Stateson Awa and Christopher Forgwe, who currently serve as TFF Country Director and FR Station Manager, respectively, laid the foundation stones.
For five years, summer Interns from the John Hopkins University (JHU) School of Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) played a key role in building the capacity of TFF staff and partners. Seminars, workshops and exchange visits were conducted through the TFF/JHU partnership. Beneficiaries of these programs have included journalists; leaders of civil society organizations, common initiative groups, and faith based organizations; farmers and agro pastoralists; local council representatives; and entrepreneurs of small and medium size enterprises from all divisions of Northwest Cameroon. Participants were trained in organization and management, outreach, membership development and communication skills.
Established in 2007, FR mission is to share information and knowledge on issues that improve the well-being of Cameroonians. The stations objectives, programs, grill and editorial codes are within the guiding principles of TFF’s vision, and the norms of Cameroon and International Journalistic Ethical Standards.
FR’s staff includes 10 journalists/broadcasters, three technicians, three administrative staff, and a dozen volunteers, many of whom broadcast programs in local languages of the Northwest region. Despite a demanding program schedule, the staff is hailed for their high level of dedication, creativity and sacrifice. Positive feedback and laudatory congratulations from the public are the norm for FR staff.
TFF/FR express its sincere thanks to hundreds of resource persons- - doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, educators, opinion leaders, human rights activists, environmentalists-- and thousands of ordinary citizens across Cameroon who have shared their rich experiences with our huge and loyal audiences.
Partnerships in FR broadcasting include:
- The Center for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy (CHRAPA)
- MINCOM/UNICEF, with whom FR produced programs on breastfeeding and Tetanus prevention.
- The regional delegation, Ministry of Public Health, with which FR co-produced sensitization campaigns and drives to roll back malaria, mobilize communities in urban and rural centers in Bamenda to vaccinate infants and pregnant women against childhood diseases and tetanus; and orient the listening communities on how to prevent or cope with insidious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes and hypertension.
- Foundation for Environment and Development; a legal firm whose motto is “Accessible and Affordable Justice for Man and Nature”
- Interfaith Vision Cameroon (IVFCam), which provides health education and counseling for the prevention, treatment and management of HIV/AIDS
- The Platform of Actors in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Cameroon (PAFAC), a network of association of people living with HIV/AIDS, sponsored by DED/GTZ from the European Union.
- The Cameroon Coalition against Malaria (CAMAM), in which FR station manager serves as an adviser to the executive committee.
- Support Service to Grassroots Initiatives (SAILD), a GTZ sponsored organization.
- World Agro forestry Center (ICRAF) sponsored by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Effective Micro Organism Technology (EM Technology), a center for the promotion of organic farming and nature protection
- Numerous representatives from ministerial departments, civil society organizations, NGOs and common initiative groups involved in community development activities.
Free Expertise on Air
FR has aired hundreds of interviews with various experts, specialists, consultants, mayors of municipalities and local councils. Notable studio guests have included:
- Hon. Julia Goldsworthy (MP) from Great Britain who chaired a workshop in Bamenda for mayors, journalist and civil leaders on Good Governance and Decentralization;
- Eric Chinje, former editor-in-chief of Cameroon Radio-Television, who previously worked for the African Development Bank as Director of Communication and now handles similar responsibilities for the World Bank in Washington DC;
- Representatives of the Korean-based World Toilet Society;
- Dr. Emma Osong, a Washington-based senior system engineer in aviation, entrepreneur and philanthropist;
- UNICEF representatives who worked with FR and managers from 10 Cameroonian radio stations to produce bilingual programs on breastfeeding, which later aired in Cameroon and other African countries.
When asked about their greatest accomplishment thus far, the FR staff responded, almost in unison, “our most cherished achievements have been the programs involving the silent majority. The voiceless and the forgotten for whom Foundation Radio provides a platform to air their concerns and to establish the right contacts for obtaining much-needed skills and self-reliance”.