Empowerment of talented citizens through journalistic information structures
Fondation Hirondelle is a non-profit organization from Switzerland that provides information to crisis-affected populations, empowering them in their daily lives and as citizens. Fondation Hirondelle assisted in the establishment and growth of Radio Okapi, the radio station of the United Nations mission in the country. Since 2014, the organization has concentrated its efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo on general-interest information, with a focus on the two priority audiences of youth and women.This is to encourage civic participation and a more inclusive public debate. Through the «Citizen Media for Public Life» project, a national program launched in 2017 and supported by Swedish, British, and Dutch collaborations, Studio Hirondelle DRC continues to expand its support for public information and the Congolese media. Themes related to the DRC's major development challenges, such as governance, the environment, and human rights, are central to this program. Furthermore, since February 2019, Studio Hirondelle DRC has launched a similar program in the Kasa region (Kasa and Central Kasa provinces) to support young people as peaceful leaders of change, despite the fact that local populations were victims of mass violence in 2016 and 2017. This 18-month project, funded by the European Union, strengthens support for local, useful, and reliable information while also allowing the establishment and expansion of a network of 18 radio partners.
Nathalie Sala worked as a journalist for Studio Hirondelle RDC for several years and is now pursuing a master's degree at ESJ Lille. She discusses her experience in France, which aims to improve her training and broaden her journalistic horizons.
More information: https://www.hirondelle.org/en/democratic-republic-of-congo