By Fru Rita Ngum
The Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) Programme has formalized partnerships with 20 private, community and Christian radio stations in the Northwest Region. Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between the SEEPD Programme and its partner radio stations were signed on June 7, 2016 during a monitoring and evaluation meeting that held at the Baptist Centre Nkwen in Bamenda.
During the meeting that brought together Station Managers from key radio stations across the region, an evaluation was done on the programme, “Disability and Development” (D&D) produced by the SEEPD Programme and broadcast over 19 radio stations in the Northwest Region. Following the evaluation it has been recommended among others that the media should produce and broadcast plays that x-ray the plight of persons with disabilities, their success stories, highlight challenges especially in gender, and prioritize news reports on cases of child abuse and mainstream disability in their radio productions.
They resolved to equally produce radio programmes aimed at sensitizing financial institutions to design micro credit initiatives which are inclusive and also to create awareness on the high way code to prevent road accidents that lead to disability.
The objective of the evaluation was to improve on the content and style of the D&D programme and get other media organs involved in order to achieve the objectives of the SEEPD Programme components.
Speaking at the meeting, the SEEPD Programme Manager, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac described journalists as important development stakeholders in achieving the mandate of the programme. He said the meeting was an opportunity to formalize partnership with the media houses, and appreciate them financially for their commitment in promoting the radio programmes and disability issues in general.
He noted that in 2015 the SEEPD Programme was recognized by the Australian government as a programme that can be used as a good practice in inclusive development, thanks to awareness raising on the media. Mr. Awa charged all present to uphold the terms of the MoU so that the Programme and the media houses can effectively work to promote inclusive development.
At the end of the meeting, the Station Managers committed themselves to respect the terms of the MoU. They appreciated the SEEPD Programme for the financial package and opportunity given them to evaluate the radio programme, noting that it has been a wonderful experience working with the Programme.