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AMARC mission to establish work plan for reconstruction of community radio network

(AMARC/IFEX) - Montreal, March 21st 2010 - The second international mission to Haiti of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters announced today that Radyo Zetwal Peyizan, a community radio in Fondwa, near Leogane, is back on air broadcasting much needed information to one of the most severely affected communities that experienced the impact of the earthquake of 12 January 2010.

AMARC's second international mission to Haiti, together with the local community media support organisation SAKS (Sosyete Animasyon Kominikasyon Sosyal), will also establish a six-month work plan for the reconstruction of the country's community radio network. There are some 20 community radio stations in Haiti either directly affected by the earthquake or facing additional demands to provide humanitarian information for affected communities and displaced people.

The second international mission to Haiti of AMARC, composed of Jim Ellinger, AMARC Vice President, and Ernesto Lamas, the Coordinator of AMARC Latin America & the Caribbean, brought solidarity donations of equipment and technical support to Radyo Zetwal Peyizan. On 12 January the station was completely destroyed and its studios buried under concrete. Local villagers worked to build a temporary shelter which now houses the replacement studio and transmitter.

AMARC, together with SAKS, REFRAKA (Haiti Community Radio Women's Network) and the AMEKA (Association of Community Media of Haiti), are contributing to the local and international effort to support disaster affected communities in Haiti through better access to information and communications. Haitian civil society and social movement organisations are demanding a greater involvement in the process and the design of reconstruction. Community radio, present in Haiti for nearly 20 years, is seen now as a vital tool for empowering and enabling local engagement.

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