Rotaractors in Nepal create radio program to disseminate health care information
The Rotaract Club of Dharan Ghopa conducts health camps in addition to producing a radio program that offers health care information. Photo courtesy of Rotaract Club of Dharan Ghopa
Rotaractors from Nepal today received top recognition at the 2012 Rotaract Preconvention Meeting for a radio program that provides health care information to people in the eastern part of the country.
The Rotaract Club of Dharan Ghopa’s twice-monthly "Rotaract Swastha Darpan" includes a drama written by the Rotaractors, interviews with medical professionals, answers to common health questions, and news and facts related to health. Listeners can send in questions by email, social media, and mail.
The initiative was recognized as RI’s Outstanding Rotaract Project international winner. It was one of seven projects singled out for honors at the annual meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
How the idea came about
The Rotaractors, many of them medical students, came up with the idea for the radio program after holding a series of health camps, one for street orphans and others that addressed hepatitis, breast cancer screening, and dental care. The events revealed that many people in eastern Nepal lacked knowledge about personal hygiene and disease prevention. They also exposed the difficulties in reaching a large number of people with basic health information.
After conducting a street theater presentation that dramatized good and bad health care practices, the students realized that a similar approach would work on the radio -- and reach a wider audience.
Rotarians from the sponsor Rotary Club of Dharan Ghopa secured free studio time to produce the program, provided Rotarians with medical experts as speakers, and promoted the program to other Rotary clubs in Nepal. The students now use software programs and their own laptops to produce the radio show.
"This was not a project that could be completed in a day or two. It is a continuous effort that requires determination, hard work and, most important, vision," says Satish Prasad Barnawal, the radio program’s chief coordinator. "We have been able to broadcast important medical information, sharpen our own medical knowledge, increase positive interactions with our [sponsor] club, and enhance the image of our club among medical professors."
The regional Rotaract projects recognized at the awards ceremony are:
- Africa: Rotaract Club of Adentan in Ghana (District 9100) for its Otinibi Library project. Club members adopted a school in the community and raised US$8,000 toward the cost of a new library there. The library was designed by an architect at no cost to the school, and the site was surveyed by a Rotarian from the sponsor club.
- Asia Pacific: Rotaract Club of Paraiso, Quezon City, Philippines (District 3780) for "Beginning and Basic Literacy Integrated Support Services." Club members provided basic literacy and reading intervention programs to children in poor urban neighborhoods. A number of Rotarians from the district have visited schools as guest storytellers.
- Europe: Rotaract Club of Ankara-Anittepe, Turkey (District 2430) for "One Whistle ... One Life!" Club members traveled to 10 Turkish cities to coordinate earthquake awareness programs, which included an earthquake simulation truck and the distribution of 10,000 emergency whistles and informational leaflets about earthquake preparedness. In each city, the Rotaractors met with Rotarians, who facilitated communication with local authorities to ensure that proper permissions were in place.
- Latin America: Rotaract Club of Ambato Cosmopolita, Tungurahua, Ecuador (District 4400) for "Rotaract 10K: Corramos para Erradicar la Polio (Let’s Run to Eradicate Polio)." Club members coordinated a 10K race that included 1,400 runners, increased awareness of Rotary and Rotaract in the community, and raised US$4,000 for PolioPlus.
- South Asia: Rotaract Club of Hassaram Rijhumal College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (District 3140) for "Road to Safety." Club members conducted a six-month road-safety awareness campaign that included rallies, performances of a street play, and promotion during a marathon in Mumbai. Rotarians from the sponsoring club, the Rotary Club of Bombay, participated in the rallies and helped promote the campaign.
- United States, Canada, and Caribbean: Rotaract Club of the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada (District 5360) for "Siaqtuut -- A Journey Together." Club members held a dinner and silent auction that raised US$14,000 for a family resource center that serves aboriginal communities in Canada, and also secured a donation of two airline tickets to enable community members, who live in the far northern part of the country, to access the resources of southern Canada. Many Rotarians attended the fundraiser and invited the Rotaractors to speak about the project at Rotary club meetings.
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