Ekialo Kiona Suba Youth Radio (EK-FM)
Country of Operation
SummaryThe Ekialo Kiona Suba Youth Radio or EK-FM is a for-youth, by-youth community radio station on Mfangano Island, Kenya. Produced in Suba language, EK FM affords a unique channel to target the health crisis and marginalization of the Abasuba people through expression, solidarity, and revitalization of heritage and culture.
Key program components
Mfangano Island in Kenya in the heart of Lake Victoria remains one of the few places on this planet with first-language Suba speakers, yet few places have been hit harder by HIV/AIDS. Only 10 miles off the mainland, this remote island lacks necessary health infrastructure and environmental regulation, is often stigmatized because of the high HIV prevalence and receives little help from the Kenyan government. Radio programming is seldom broadcast in the Suba language and rarely if ever addresses itself to the specific concerns and history of the Suba people. Dissemination of valuable information in a timely manner is critical to sustainability for many living in this rural community. With only 119,000 Suba speakers remaining, the future of Abasuba lies in continuing to foster community and youth discussion as a part of a holistic and sustainable approach to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.
In June 2012, OHR along with SF-based partner, Inveneo, successfully deployed a 90km wireless Internet connection from Kisumu, Kenya to the top of Soklo Mountain on Mfangano and down to the Ekialo Kiona Center in Kitawi Beach. The transmitter, which is wind and solar powered, was officially launched on December 1, 2012 and now EK FM broadcasts 4 hours a day. The EK Radio Team is comprised of 1 Radio Coordinator, 3 Youth Presenters, and 1 Youth Editor/Interviewer.
EK FM connects over 50+ microclinics organized and registered on Mfangano with a mission to improve HIV literacy, attitudes and behaviors in the community. Besides broadcasting health information the radio station also works to preserve Suba culture and language, air information on agriculture and fishing and hosts youth empowerment programs.
Picture this: 28 million new infections averted.