HeadlineThe journey of Inspiring Hope: a SIGNIS project empowering new voices

The journey of Inspiring Hope: a SIGNIS project empowering new voices

Inspiring hope: a SIGNIS project empowering new voices is a campaign sponsored by SIGNIS with support from the Catholic Communication Campaign.  It aims to share stories of hope that inspire and generate social transformation from new communication resources—a journey through Burundi, Liberia, Belize, Tanzania and Latin America.

The “Inspiring Hope” communication campaign launched by SIGNIS and supported by the CCC has resonated powerfully across various regions, igniting a beacon of optimism and empowerment using the power of the media. Radio stations like Radio Lio in Latin America and the Caribbean, Radio Hekima in Tanzania, Radio Voix de la Reconciliation in Burundi and Radio Paraclete in Liberia, have emerged as vital platforms for fostering hope and reconciliation within their communities. These stations have effectively leveraged their influence to promote peace and dialogue, empower youth and women, and advocate for human rights, demonstrating the transformative potential of media in driving positive change.

Several young people work at Radio Hekima, Tanzania. For Asumtha Hekela, working there has been a “delightful experience” as she has “learned a lot about the process that goes behind producing a radio program, using computers and radio editing software. “What I like about the radio is its name – says Mathilde Katamano, a loyal listener of Radio Voix de la Réconciliation – I’ve done my analysis and I can confirm that it really is the voice of reconciliation! This radio airs shows that encourage and comfort, not shows that cause pain. The broadcasts are hosted by young people and adults and they are constructive shows”. Bringing a Catholic voice around finally came true in 2020, when Radio Paraclete started broadcasting a variety of programs from peace and reconciliation to social justice, entertainment, news, and more. “We use the radio to address health issues. Healthcare workers go to the radio station to teach people about them and tell them which symptoms to be on the lookout for, and when to seek medical attention” says Petronilla J. Mukohi from the Leprosy Treatment Center in the northeastern town of Ganta (Liberia). “For me, Radio Lío is a space where I can expand my horizons by collaborating with people from all over Latin America, I can practice the journalism I believe in and defend: a journalism that gives a voice to all people and allows all cultures to be represented. I hope to keep contributing to this radio that is alive and transformative”, says Barbara Márquez, producer at Radio Lío.

Additionally, initiatives like the Belize City Belmopan Communication Center and the Cardinal Foley Production Studio, in Bujumbura (Burundi) are providing vital platforms for young Catholic producers to share their voices and contribute to a narrative of hope and renewal. Through collaborative efforts the “Inspiring Hope” campaign has not only uplifted spirits but also sparked a collective sense of purpose and resilience, underscoring the enduring impact of media in shaping a brighter future for all.

“This is a great opportunity as a lot of young people have talent but have nowhere to develop it”, says Diomède, one of the young producers at the Bujumbura center. While Mr. Ruben Wong, Chair of Media and Communications at the Diocese of Belize, shares that through this Communication Center they can “make the Word come alive” by reaching out to all groups, like the pastoral life resource teams, teachers, clergy, young people… and collaborate in productions may it be audio or video or both. 

Overall, this campaign showcases the transformative power of media for advocating for human rights, empowering marginalized voices, demonstrating the vital role of communication in building a more inclusive and hopeful society, and ultimately, inspiring hope. 

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