Waves of Grace
The one constant in most homes in Uganda, whether in the towns or the villages, is a radio blaring in the background
Graeme and Jenny Riddell are working with BMS World Mission's partner the Baptist Union of Uganda, in the west of the country.
They are involved in educational (Graeme) and legal work (Jenny) in the region, seeking to improve the lives of many disadvantaged people, especially women and children. Here we find out about Jenny's amazing opportunity to tell people about their right to justice over the airwaves:
Radio is king
The one constant in most homes in Uganda, whether in the towns or the villages, is a radio blaring in the background. Whether it is announcing details of an up-coming meeting, providing education on healthcare or sharing God's word from the Bible, the radio is seen as a crucial communication tool in reaching the widest possible audience. This is because in a rural society access to newspapers, the internet and even mobile phone networks can be limited.
When BMS partner, the Ugandan Christian Lawyers' Fraternity, held a legal education workshop in Kasese, western Uganda, a local pastor invited BMS lawyer Jenny, to use some of the slots he had paid for on "Grace Radio" - a local Christian station.
The aim was to teach individuals in local communities about God's heart for justice, their rights and how they could become advocates for the marginalised.
By involving some of the individuals who had received training at the workshops and basing the teaching on biblical foundations and the law of Uganda, over a period of eight weeks the radio shows have covered topics as diverse as marriage and domestic violence, land rights and succession.
In the past week, four sessions have been recorded on child rights with a focus on preventing child neglect, child labour and child physical and sexual abuse.
The success of these shows has led to them being translated into two different local languages and taken for broadcast by four radio stations in other parts of western Uganda, reaching into Tanzania, Rwanda and eastern Congo.
From January 2010 funding has been granted to the UCLF western office for nine further radio shows. This will involve an opportunity for individuals to phone in for advice on how to handle legal disputes and conflicts that are being committed in their communities, and how to take a Christian approach to mediating some of these conflicts.
Capturing the vision
Through these shows it is hoped that individuals will capture the vision to share God's love and heart for justice by standing up for the marginalised in their communities across western Uganda and beyond.