WCCC launched a new Radio Program on the 8th of March to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day. The program is called ‘Fanguna’ which means ‘to awaken’. In Tonga many people deny, or are unaware of, the extent of domestic violence. The programme aims to convey to the public the truth about domestic violence in Tonga.
The radio program enables individuals affected by domestic violence and gender based oppression to send their stories anonymously to be discussed by a panel of members of the center.
The reading and discussion of the letters and stories are recorded. The recording is edited before being released. For the first radio program held to mark International Women’s Day, the panel included members of WCCC; the Director and representatives from the One Stop Team, who discussed and gave advice on the first three letters received.
Since then Fanguna has become a regular weekly radio programme aired every Tuesday night at 7:00p.m. The panel discussion is hosted by Mrs. Lesila Lokotui To’ia the Deputy Director of the Centre. The panel is selected from members of the One Stop Team, Male advocates and a representative from the WCCC Community Education Training and Advocacy Team. They all participate in analyzing the letters and discussing possible solutions for the issues raised.
The panel discussion format allows a range of views. It is hoped that the discussion will provide hope and guidance for individuals affected by violence as well as broad public education.
Providing radio programmes enables WCCC to reach a wider audience than in previous activities going out to local communities.
So far, WCCC has received regular letters from the public seeking advice and information through the ‘Fanguna’ radio program. It is fair to say that the radio program has lived up to its’ name by continuing to raise the voices of those affected by domestic violence, allowing their stories to break the silence and end the violence.