THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED TO OUR CAMPAIGN AND HELPED US SURPASS OUR GOAL!
If you would still like to make a contribution, you can donate directly through Organic Health Response using Paypal. Please write "EK FM Radio Studio" in the memo line.
We are a team of four students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. This summer, we will be building Africa's first hybrid wind & solar-powered radio station. We are spearheading a project aimed to empower the residents of Mfangano Island by applying a 600-year old building technique to a modern problem.
Mfangano is a Kenyan Island in the heart of Lake Victoria. It is home to approximately 20,000 people and is home to the largest concentration of Suba Language speakers. The inhabitants, mostly fishermen and farmers, live around a single dirt ring road or on the high mesa overlooking the lake.
EK FM Radio
Although Mfangano sits only 10 miles off the mainland, this remote island lacks necessary health infrastructure and environmental regulation. Dissemination of valuable information in a timely manner is critical to sustainability for the many living in this rural community. With only 119,000 Suba speakers remaining, the future of Abasuba lies in continuing to foster community and youth discussion. Last Fall, the Organic Health Response launched the Ekialo Kiona Suba Youth Radio program - EK FM 99.3 using a hybrid wind and solar-powered 500 watt FM transmitter. It has been their goal to eventually build a small structure specifically for the radio station, but is currently operating out of mixed-use space in the community center.
EK FM connects over 50 microclinics organized and registered on Mfangano Island with a mission to improve HIV literacy, attitudes and behaviors in the community. Radio programming in Kenya is seldom broadcast in the Suba language and rarely addresses itself to the specific concerns and history of the Suba people.
While a place of outstanding beauty, Mfangano suffers from a number of challenges that make the current era extremely difficult. A myriad of factors including a Nile Perch “gold rush” in the ‘80s, deforestation, food insecurity, and lack of sanitation has created a public health crisis. Additionally, Mfangano suffers from an HIV prevalence of between 30-40%. There is an immediate need to further promote HIV counseling and testing, and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Radio Studio
Radio programming is a part of a holistic and sustainable approach to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. It is time to provide this invaluable resource with a permanent home.
We will work directly with the Ekialo Kiona Sustainable Design Guild to build Africa’s first entirely wind and solar-powered radio studio. Rather than constructing this building using methods which deplete local natural forests, we are proposing to use the earth to make our own building materials. We will fabricate our own stabilized-earth tiles to build a vaulted structure using the timbrel (Catalan) tile vaulting method. This 600-year old construction technique will be completely new to the island. Our contention is that tile vaulting is a favorable method of construction in developing areas that are dealing with deforestation and cannot (or should not) rely on wood as a primary building material.
Beginning no later than July 1st we will construct the Ekialo Kiona Radio Studio using the tile vaulting technique. This structure will serve not only as a demonstration of this building method, but the larger community being reached through radio broadcast. For the EK Guild, this is an opportunity to expand their knowledge of sustainable design techniques while also establishing their status as Mfangano's premiere construction team. Having acquired this knowledge, the guild will have the freedom to replicate, adapt, and evolve the technique to become uniquely their own.
Funding the EK FM Radio Studio
It is time to provide EK FM an invaluable resource to Mfangano Island, with a permanent home.
WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Our project is due to kick off in early June, 2013. To do this, we need to raise $10,000 to ensure that we can build the EK FM Radio Studio. Your tax-deductible donation to this campaign will directly fund this project as well as support the community of Mfangano Island.
Each and every dollar donated will be used to cover the cost of tools, building materials, equipment and the wages of the EK Design Guild.
The Radio Studio will extend Ekialo Kiona's mission to provide a holistic and sustainable approach to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Your contribution will initiate generations of change and a healthier life for the people of Mfangano Island and Kenya.
Thank you for your support.