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TWR Malawi Puts a Radio into 800 Households

By Bulelwa Mokori
Africa, Malawi, S&E Africa

Sounds of joy and jubilation were heard from different areas visited by TWR staff in Malawi when distributing radios to beneficiaries. “Women were ululating and dancing,” says Victor Kaonga, National Director of TWR-Malawi, “and people were greeting us with smiles and tears of joy.” He added that a woman, probably in her late 50s, expressed her joy saying, “It’s rare to have someone come just like that and give such a precious gift. God bless you”. Another listener said she felt like she was dreaming to be owning a radio.


TWR initiated the radio distribution project to enable people to hear the Word of God so that lasting fruit is achieved. Victor said they worked through traditional leaders in choosing the beneficiaries who neither had cell phones nor a radio in their homes. Almost every beneficiary in the 16 selected districts could not believe receiving a Tecsun Green-88 radio. The distribution by TWR Malawi staff happened over a four-week intensive stretch. It took the team to the hilly, plain, forested, remote and beautiful places of Malawi, covering about 4,000 kilometres. The radios were distributed in 16 different districts from South to North. A few other places had already been blessed likewise in 2018.


In another location, the TWR team arrived at 9 am and found the chief and the radio beneficiaries already gathered. Most of the people that received the radios were elderly people who shared their joy of receiving the radio. Some indicated that this was their first time owning such kind of a property. People from other religions repented when they heard the Good News, saying they will start listening to TWR programmes.


Apart from using the beneficiaries as good programme listener response, TWR hopes to strengthen its presence by initiating and strengthening radio listening communities. The producers will go back to each of these sites to engage listeners into recordings for programmes. A group of listeners in Malawi’s northern most and hard-to-reach locations have formed a WhatsApp group to discuss and encourage one another about the Word of God. Most of the people who received radios indicated that they listen to TWR and have learned a lot through its programmes. One lady said she has "learned a lot through TWR programmes such as Kumanga Banja.” She has learned how to take care of her family while children’s programmes help her children. The group’s Village Head said most people in his area enjoy listening to programmes like Litala Lya Umi (Word of Life), and Mesi Gha Umi (Water for Life).


Broadcasting in Malawi began on short and medium wave from Manzini, Swaziland in 1986. In 2000 TWR Malawi FM went on air in Blantyre, and by 2004, more transmitting sites were added. Today there are FM transmission sites broadcasting programmes 24 hours a day in the Chichewa, English and Chitumbuka languages. Not only is the country of Malawi being permeated with these gospel radio programmes, but they are being heard as far afield as Mozambique and Zambia. TWR-Malawi is one of TWR-Africa’s National Partners. Other TWR Partners can be found in Burundi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, and South Africa.

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