details

South Kivu Women’s Media Association (AFEM), South Kivu

AFEM is a registered NGO with the provincial government.

Location

Bukavu, South Kivu province
From their office in Bukavu (South Kivu), AFEM’s activities are broadcast in the Kivus and in parts of Rwanda and Burundi.

Sectors of Intervention

Media; education; human rights

History

In 2003, several women in Bukavu started AFEM (Association des femmes des médiasdu Sud-Kivu) in response to the lack of representation of women in all areas of public and civic life.Today AFEM is an association of 42 female media professionals in Bukavu who work to promotegender equity and endorse the advancement of Congolese women, using media outlets in South Kivuas a tool. Members of the association collaborate with partner media organizations with the aim ofincreasing the professional quality of female journalists and offering a platform for exchange andlearning for these women. Apart from its members, AFEM has staff who work specifically on engagingrural communities in media production. They have gained a reputation, mainly through theirdirector, as fearless purveyors of information on human rights abuses in the country, and notably,in 2009, their director testified before the U.S. Senate regarding the issue of sexual violence and itsprevalence in the DRC. Their broadcast network covers North Kivu and South Kivu and parts ofRwanda and Burundi. They have worked with the National Endowment for Democracy, V-Day, andDiakonie among others.

Mission

AFEM works for the advancement of Congolese women and for gender parity in all areas of public life through available media outlets, and aims to reinforce the capacity of female media professionals.

Objectives

  • Increase the number of female journalists in South Kivu
  • Provide radio programming produced by women
  • Increase the professionalism of female journalists in the region
  • Produce radio programming that educates communities about human rights and women’s rights and catalyzes change
  • Empower rural women to be involved in media

Programs

  • Station partnerships: AFEM works with rural radio clubs to produce broadcasts that are relevant to communities. Women participating in AFEM clubs receive training in broadcasting and editing 30-minute radio transmissions.
  • Community broadcasts: AFEM works with FM radio stations in Bukavu and surrounding areas to air the broadcasts, paying the radio stations $50 per transmission. On average, the organization and clubs produce 12 radio transmissions each week, eight that originate from rural areas and four that originate from Bukavu.
  • Creating topical programs: AFEM utilizes its partnerships to produce programs on a broad range of topics, including good governance, sexual violence, and human rights.

Governance

AFEM’s supreme governing body is the executive board, composed of eight members,which meets twice a year, and monitors strategic progress and authorizes budgetary plans. Theboard of directors is elected by the general assembly and meets twice a year. The board of directorsis responsible for developing overall strategic direction. AFEM has a controls commission, whichoversees the administrative functioning of the organization and meets once a year. AFEM has a totalof nine staff based in South Kivu and 20 part-time journalists/correspondents on the ground aroundthe province.

AFEM has a bank account with BIC in Bukavu. For financial, administrative, and personnel management,AFEM has:

  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; and purchasing policies and procedures: YES
  • A computerized accounting system: NO
  • A clearly defined accounting process: YES
  • Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: YES
  • Staff with the technical expertise to undertake projects: YES

Strengths

  • Strong network of female journalists capable of mobilizing community action
  • Can produce high-quality broadcast content
  • Evidence of community participation in radio production
  • Internationally recognized and has experience with international donors

Needs

  • Expand partnerships beyond organizations working on women’s issues to include those focusing on community transformation
  • Diversify community radio clubs (this requires increased financing and human resources)
  • Engage more men in advocating for gender parity
  • Equipment that is portable and suited to terrain broadcasting, so AFEM can expand its production capacity

Funders and Budget

For 2010, AFEM had a projected budget of $190,000. Donors include Diakonie, Norwegian Church Aid, the National Endowment for Democracy, and V-Day.

Accomplishments

  • Listener coverage of approximately 400,000 people
  • Broadcasts are heard in North Kivu, South Kivu, Rwanda, and Burundi.
  • Produces 12 radio shows per week, of which eight originate from rural areas and four from Bukavu
  • One of AFEM’s staff was awarded the Fern Holland Vital Voices Award in 2009.
  • Testified before the U.S. Senate regarding human rights abuses and sexual violence

Success Story

For the past ten years, if the women journalists of the Association des Femmes de Médias du Sud Kivu wanted to broadcast one of their stories on the l... Read More »

Organizational Vision

Female journalists who are empowered to produce quality, professional pieces of journalism and are respected in the journalism field

Project Proposals

  • Election education: Produce broadcasts in rural areas educating communities on the election process, seminars on the process of enrolling as a candidate, and candidate debates. Mobilize communities to monitor the election process through the radio. Cost: $70,000
  • Training for female journalists: Provide four conferences throughout the year providing training in writing, producing, and interviewing for female journalists in North Kivu and South Kivu. Cost: $60,000
  • Rural radio clubs: Equip rural radio clubs with voice recorders and training to produce broadcasts on subjects important to their communities. AFEM personnel will edit material for final broadcast. Cost: $25,000

Contact

Chouchou Namegabe, director, +243.994.157.515, chouchou@afemsk.org

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