Sandy Bay gets own radio station
January 20, 2006

Sandy Bay gets own radio station

Residents of Sandy Bay will now have a most viable and prominent means by which they can air their views on just about anything.

The United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organsation (UNESCO) launched the ‘Integrated Community Media for Indigenous Carib Communities Project’ last Thursday at the Sandy Bay Resource Centre.

The project seeks to alleviate poverty in isolated indigenous communities using integrated media and the creation of marketable multimedia projects. {{more}}

The Multi-Media project is part of efforts by UNESCO to revive the Garifuna Heritage, which has been virtually lost in the Carib communities for a number of years.

Speaking at the launch, Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura said that this is a significant project for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, especially people of the Garifuna Heritage.

Matsuura said one of UNESCO’s missions is indeed to support the cultures of the world. He also added that the Multi-Media project would use the latest technologies among the Carib people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and, indeed, the Caribbean.

“The involvement of young people in cultural programs is important for reaching these goals,” said the Director-General. He added that he is extremely happy to play such an important role in the support of Government’s efforts, to provide them with the access to new technology. He took the opportunity to encourage the development of a national plan and common programs for these centres.

The project is a regional one being implemented in indigenous communities across the Caribbean in countries such as Belize, Dominica, Guyana and Suriname.

Matsuura noted that the integration of Internet connectivity, the community library, activities at Sandy Bay and the establishment of a community radio would create a central information access point for the entire Sandy Bay area.

Also on hand at the opening was Minister of Agriculture and area representative, Montgomery Daniel. In his remarks, Daniel said St. Vincent and the Grenadines is being served by several radio stations and other means of communication but that the North Windward communities continue to suffer from the lack of local service as that area mainly receives programs from foreign radio stations. He mentioned that the number one radio station listened to in the community was HOT FM 96.1 based in neighbouring island St. Lucia. Minister Daniel further added that the radio station would complement the work of the education program to promote cultural activities and recapturing the Garifuna language in the Carib community. He extended sincerest thanks to UNESCO for their efforts in helping to revive the Garifuna Heritage.

Minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, Dr. Jerrol Thompson said the community is not exposed to relevant national information as most stations’ transmissions signals do not cover that area. He added that this project would fill the gap by providing that information.

Minister Thompson highlighted the fact that very soon all schools would be linked together via the internet so that students can access the same study material such as Mathematics, English and other subjects at the same time.

The large gathering was entertained by a short and exciting play by grade six students of the Fancy Primary School, Shelvert Samuel Baptiste, Fennique Stay and Chyrisia Caine. The trio portrayed the importance of education and how important it was to have a radio station while stirring up laughter within the audience.