Friday, April 17, 2015

AWR in Cameroon

The Story of a Lonely Radio Studio in an Isolated Area of Africa

Let us take an interesting story from a recent issue of an American club magazine about a lonely radio studio in an isolated area of Africa and we adapt it for broadcast on radio.  This story, about a radio production studio operated by Adventist World Radio, was provided by Ralph Perry in Wheaton Illinois and it is found in the NASWA Journal for February earlier this year.
            The small city of Maroua is located in the far north of the country of Cameroon in Africa and it is the regional capital with a population of less than a quarter million.  There is a small regional airport nearby and mail delivery in the area is described as spotty.
            For many years now, Adventist World Radio has operated a small radio production studio in the building that serves as the headquarters for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the northern area of the Cameroons.  Programming in this studio is produced in the widely spoken Fulfulde language and over the years it has been broadcast over various stations that give radio coverage into the Fulfulde language areas, including the usage of Meyerton in South Africa.
            Radio coverage for the Fulfulde programming during this past shortwave Transmission Period B14 has been provided by the Deutsche Welle shortwave station located a little north of Kigali in Rwanda.  However, as was announced quite recently, this powerful Deutsche Welle relay station is closing over this weekend, at the time of transition from the B14 to the A15 Transmission Period.
            The director of the Cameroon AWR studio in Maroua, Pastor H. T. Richard, states his appreciation in receiving a letter from a shortwave listener in the United States who heard his programming via DW Kigali.  He also states that the studio is quite small and quite simple, though plans are underway for location in another building with updated studio equipment. 
            It is intended also that live programming will then be added for broadcast locally to the Maroua city area.  However, until the new studio becomes available, only programming for broadcast in the international scheduling from Adventist World Radio will be produced.
            We might add that somewhere around 75 production studios around the world are affiliated with Adventist World Radio.  Some of these studios are quite large and turning out programming in many languages whereas others are quite small and working in only one language. 
            If fellow DXers are making contact directly with AWR production studios, we would suggest that care should be taken in the these matters, remembering that the staff may not understand the circumstances associated with international radio monitoring and the nature of QSLs.  Even though English is the international working language of the Adventist denomination, yet not all radio staff may be able to communicate in English. 
            Then too, it is possible that finances may be quite tight in some locations, and the cost of posting mail, perhaps even registered mail in order to secure assurance of delivery, may be very high in the local currency.  Remember too, that some of the production studios are located in sensitive areas of the world where the staff has to be very careful about international contacts  
 (AWR-wavescan/NWS 318)