Radyo Bakdaw’s Practical Advice Helps Typhoon Survivors Get Back on their Feet

March 19, 2014

Fishermen Guillermo and Sosimo are live on Radyo Bakdaw’s Livelihoods program reporting to Cristina, their financial advisor, that they have beaten the savings target she set for them last week. Cristina is taking them through a process of learning how to budget, save and make investment decisions as part of an effort to help residents of Guiuan in the Philippines get back on their feet.

The hope is that Guillermo and Sosimo will serve as role models for listeners.

Radyo Bakdaw was established by Internews in the Guiuan municipality in the Philippines to broadcast humanitarian information after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated the area.

“This programming is shaped – very much – by the current needs of the community,” says John Tuckey, Internews Humanitarian Journalism Trainer. “With Yolanda three months ago, and with basic services – though not electricity – back in place, the market in Guiuan stocked and functioning again, shops reopening every day, the focus is on rebuilding.”

Livelihoods is broadcast for two hours every weekday, part of the 17 hours of specialist humanitarian programming per week. Many people in Guiuan rely on two principle areas of livelihood – fishing and coconut farming, both of which were devastated by the typhoon. The program offers information and advice on rebuilding past livelihoods and on starting new livelihoods.

Other Radyo Bakdaw programming includes maintaining health and psycho-social support, but its main focus in on rebuilding. A program called Home focuses on shelter – it includes a weekly step-by-step guide for householders, so that they can Build Back Better, that is, make their homes much more resistant to typhoons. Roger, a householder who is rebuilding his badly-damaged house, and Nilo, an International Organization for Migration engineer, discuss on air what Roger has done, and what his next step needs to be. 

The Radyo Bakdaw team, which previously did not have experience with this type of programming, was able to get the programs on the air after only two weeks training and two weeks of on-air support from Tuckey.

“I have worked in humanitarian broadcasting since the Kosovo crisis in 1999, and I have never been involved with such a hard-working team,” says Tuckey.  “The producers – who, before January, didn't know what the term meant – have taken to the job with energy and enthusiasm.”

Radio Bakdaw is supported by DFID. The Rubin Foundation supported Internews' emergency response to the Haiyan typhoon.