As the world experiences new, old, and more complex global challenges, it’s important to dig deep to understand the issues, how they affect people, and how they connect to Canadians, because global challenges require global solutions.
The Young Journalists’ Global Podcast Challenge, led by Farm Radio International, invited teams of young journalists to delve into global issues and innovative solutions. The young Canadian journalists were assisted by volunteers from the Uniterra program and local broadcasters to gather voices from inside and outside Canada.
We sincerely thank our key sponsors and supporters for bringing this initiative to International Forum, with special thanks to University of Saskatchewan and iPolitics.
Listen to our submissions from Burkina Faso, Jamaica, and Tanzania, which explore three very different challenges: climate-smart agriculture, homophobia in music, and access to safe drinking water.
Burkina Faso: Women farmers convert degraded soils into farmlands in Ziou
Weather hazards have major impacts on Burkina Faso farmlands and they translate into a significant decrease in farmland fertility. To deal with this, and more specifically with the heavy soil erosion, the Wende Panga womens’ group chaired by Marie Sia in Ziou has adopted alternative practices such as using grass strips. These strips enable a better distribution of rainwater on the land as they slow runoff during heavy rains. Thus, grass strips significantly increase crop yields in combination with organic fertilizer. Mrs. Sia explains in this podcast how Ziou women who don’t own lands were left with low quality lands and had to take on techniques such as grass strips to convert degraded soils into farmlands so as to meet the needs of their families.
Jamaica: Exploring homophobia in the music scene
In 2006, Time magazine asked if Jamaica was the most homophobic place on Earth. The island has had its problems — the murder of gay activists in their community, the laws that prevent homosexual activity, and the music that reinforced these values. But that title is now misleading, and detracts from the progress Jamaica has made towards equal rights. The LGBT community is making homophobic music their own and causing homophobic music in their lyrics to be less pervasive. But even in Canada, homophobia lives on in a similar but subtler form: heteronormativity.
Tanzania: Water is life: Access to safe drinking water
Access to safe drinking water is one of the largest and most widespread issues of our time. Freshwater resources are depleting at rapid rates and a wide range of contaminants are polluting drinking water sources all over the world, impacting billions of people and leading to millions of deaths each year. And the people that are affected most significantly are the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. But this issue, like many others, has to be managed differently from location to location. So in this episode, we dive deeper into this issue and look at how it impacts the lives of individuals living in Tanzania and in Canada. We learn about what life is like for women that must travel long distances to fetch water in a rural Tanzanian setting, and then come back to Canada to try to further understand the issues that many First Nations communities face with their water.
Meet the teams
Burkina Faso Team
Adama Gondougo Zongo is a retired journalist. He joined Radio Rurale du Burkina in 1982, and served as radio program production manager for rural radio, head of the rural radio, and twice as editor of the department and the general management of the station Radio Rurale. He led basic training sessions for the staff of local community and associative radio stations in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad, Togo and DRC. He worked with Farm Radio for the development of scripts, and WREN MEDIA for the production of programs. He has retired since January 2014.
Nadege Gatera is a Canadian who works in Burkina Faso as part of the Uniterra program. She is a climate change advisor with the Confédération Paysanne du Faso (CPF). She helps the CPF member producers cope with climate change by encouraging them to develop farming practices that have low impact on the environment. She has an interest in issues related to vulnerable community resilience, food security, environment protection and women empowerment.
Karima Oumarou is a Canadian who works in Burkina Faso as part of the Uniterra program. She is an advisor on local processed products quality management with the Confédération Paysanne du Faso (CPF). Specialized in quality management, she mentors CPF, including the women’s college, regarding processed food safety and quality. She pays special attention to continuous improvement through a quality process in agri-food production and processing. All this contributes to food security and a better quality of life for women who are the main stakeholders of this sector. She is also the mother of three children.
Robbie Venis is a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering at Carleton University, where he is working on the improvement of a local water treatment technology in Tanzania. Robbie has worked in the field of international development for many years, with a concentrated focus on providing adequate water and sanitation to lower-income communities. He also has a podcast and blog called All About Aid (http://allaboutaid.blog) in which he discusses foreign aid and international development with experts from a variety of backgrounds, covering topics from the morality of bilateral aid to project implementation strategies.
Jaime Little is a Canadian journalist and trainer currently working as a Uniterra volunteer with Farm Radio International in Arusha, Tanzania. She and her family are spending a year there before returning to Montreal and to CBC Radio, where Jaime has worked for many years in Indigenous language broadcasting. She has previously worked on media development projects in Afghanistan, Chad, and the Central African Republic.
Clara Moita is a Tanzanian journalist and trainer currently working as a volunteer with Farm Radio International in Arusha, Tanzania. She works with radio stations in different regions to develop radio programs about agriculture, and to train broadcasters. Previously she worked at Radio 5 as the host of Amka (Wake up) and Fahari Yangu (My pride), programs that focussed on the challenges of small-scale farmers.
Greg Guevara is a third-year journalism student at Carleton University’s in Ottawa. He is also a director of Carleton’s art collective and seeks to write on and create art — whatever “art” happens to be to him on a given day. He ran a show called Don’t See This Show at the Ottawa fringe. He loves poetry, theater, film, short stories and music all of kinds. He’s won Carleton’s literary award for spoken word poetry and has a Facebook page where he performs it at fb.com/mcswm.
Ashleigh-Ann Mowatt is a trained journalist, and a marketing and communication consultant. She earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the West Indies. Ashleigh-Ann has held several executive positions in Jamaica’s broadcast and print media. She is a former Editor-in-Chief of Wealth Magazine. She is a former executive producer of two weekly youth programmes on ROOTS 96.1FM and a former associate with Transformative Communications Partners. Ashleigh-Ann was instrumental in the training of a group of 15 Maroons in radio program design which led to the establishment of Jamaica’s first Maroon-operated radio station. She currently holds the position of program manager at Irie Vybz Radio, operates a wellness blog, LiveWellJa.com, and contributes weekly blogs to Jamaicans.com.