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Podcast

Changing airwaves and claiming rights in northern Pakistan

Giving people the opportunity to tell their own stories and advocate for change

2022

How to build community - a podcast series with Arukah Network
How to build community - a podcast series with Arukah Network

From: How to build community

A podcast series for anyone wanting to help their community to thrive 

About this episode

Hazeen Latif works for Amplifying Voices Pakistan. In this episode, Hazeen talks about community-centred media and how it can lead to positive, lasting change. He tells the story of an isolated community in Pakistan who initiated changes to infrastructure by creating their own radio programmes.

Total Time

Total Time

Download audio file | 16.7 MB
‘You are the champions, you will be the heroes… You do it. I'll support you.’

Podcast highlights

  • Community-centred media is different from a media campaign, which usually focuses on specific development or health outcomes that have been determined by people outside a community. In contrast, community-centred media brings local people together to listen, discuss and take action to overcome local challenges. It can also help people facing disadvantage or injustice to speak out and be heard. Locally-owned, local-language radio programmes are an example of community-centred media.

    Hazeen explains that when people decide to get involved in community-centred media, it gives them the opportunity to tell their own stories in exactly the way they want them to be told. They also decide who they could approach to help them.

    Hazeen heard about a small migrant community in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan who were treated as outcasts by the wider community. This meant that they had limited access to basic services such as drinking water, healthcare and  education. Hazeen believed that community radio programmes could help this village to be heard and get support to overcome the issues they were facing.

    Community-centred media is different from a media campaign, which usually focuses on specific development or health outcomes that have been determined by people outside a community. In contrast, community-centred media brings local people together to listen, discuss and take action to overcome local challenges. It can also help people facing disadvantage or injustice to speak out and be heard. Locally-owned, local-language radio programmes are an example of community-centred media.

    Hazeen explains that when people decide to get involved in community-centred media, it gives them the opportunity to tell their own stories in exactly the way they want them to be told. They also decide who they could approach to help them.

    Hazeen heard about a small migrant community in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan who were treated as outcasts by the wider community. This meant that they had limited access to basic services such as drinking water, healthcare and  education. Hazeen believed that community radio programmes could help this village to be heard and get support to overcome the issues they were facing.

  • Hazeen became a part of the village. For one year he visited the community, drank tea with them and got to know them. Hazeen was building what he calls ‘unprofitable trust’. He was more than just an external voice trying to speak on their behalf: he was their friend. 

    As trust was built, the community began to ask Hazeen how they could change their situation. Hazeen could have provided the tools and support that would make this possible, but instead he told them, ‘You are the champions, you will be the heroes, you will be the captains. It's just about you: you do it. I'll support you.’ 

    Training sessions on how to use radio to tell their stories began. With just two microphones, a mixer and a laptop, the community began producing their own programmes, which Hazeen arranged to play on a local radio station.

    Hazeen became a part of the village. For one year he visited the community, drank tea with them and got to know them. Hazeen was building what he calls ‘unprofitable trust’. He was more than just an external voice trying to speak on their behalf: he was their friend. 

    As trust was built, the community began to ask Hazeen how they could change their situation. Hazeen could have provided the tools and support that would make this possible, but instead he told them, ‘You are the champions, you will be the heroes, you will be the captains. It's just about you: you do it. I'll support you.’ 

    Training sessions on how to use radio to tell their stories began. With just two microphones, a mixer and a laptop, the community began producing their own programmes, which Hazeen arranged to play on a local radio station.

  • A few personal stories about the lack of electricity, dirty drinking water and waterborne diseases soon became a whole collection of stories being sent through the airwaves. The stories caught the attention of community representatives who could access the right people, including those in local government, and influence them to make meaningful changes to the community’s infrastructure. In an astonishingly short period of time, new electricity lines were installed, and a basic health centre was set up. A local donor provided money to dig boreholes for water. And now the community has set their sights on a new goal: to build two rooms where girls and boys, who currently have no education, can be taught.

    Summarising the impact, Hazeen says, ‘A simple voice sent through an FM channel really made a difference to the community.’

    A few personal stories about the lack of electricity, dirty drinking water and waterborne diseases soon became a whole collection of stories being sent through the airwaves. The stories caught the attention of community representatives who could access the right people, including those in local government, and influence them to make meaningful changes to the community’s infrastructure. In an astonishingly short period of time, new electricity lines were installed, and a basic health centre was set up. A local donor provided money to dig boreholes for water. And now the community has set their sights on a new goal: to build two rooms where girls and boys, who currently have no education, can be taught.

    Summarising the impact, Hazeen says, ‘A simple voice sent through an FM channel really made a difference to the community.’

About this podcast

How to build community is a podcast and radio show from Arukah Network and Tearfund’s Footsteps magazine. The podcast gives people the opportunity to inspire and motivate others by talking about their community projects and ideas.

Please get in touch if you have any ideas for future podcast episodes.

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