Building Indigenous Voice

In November of 2012, the MEDIA One team, collaborating with the local NGO Building Community Voices, travelled to Ratanakiri province for the project Supporting Indigenous People’s Voice.

As the majority of indigenous people living in Ratanakiri communicate in non-Khmer languages, they are often under-informed and isolated from mainstream media. With extremely limited representation of the challenges facing this vulnerable group, it is crucial to develop and encourage community dialogue to improve the situation and voice these needs.

In order to build skills and capacities, MEDIA One provided training services to selected representatives of three tribal groups – Jarai, Kreung, and Tampuon. MEDIA One completed two training programs with groups ranging from 8 to 15 participants: the first, in radio feature production trained the group to record and edit their own radio program for later broadcast within the Ratanakiri province. The second, in listening and dialogue group facilitation, trained the group to form and lead listening clubs in their home villages for discussion of the produced radio programs.

The project is ongoing and will continue into the next year. MEDIA One’s collaboration on this project will help to promote access to information in indigenous languages.

This unique approach of empowerment through technical trainings to create media viable at a grassroots level has the potential to expand abilities of the community to promote their needs and ideas. Building communications capacities at a local level not only helps individual to gain confidence and knowledge, but will also build ties and knowledge among the tribal groups through community-led listening and dialogue groups. As these two will work alongside each other, responding to each others’ production work and concerns, they will be able to build the community’s voice simultaneously for a stronger indigenous voice.