IPDC builds capacity of Latin American community media
The Uruguayan Network of Community Infocentres (RUTELCO) organized the Second National Conference 'Communication for the Community', on 25 October 2008, in Masoller, a small village situated 500 km north of Montevideo.
RUTELCO currently has 150 centres belonging to ANTEL (National Telecommunication Company of Uruguay), CDI Uruguay and the Ministry of Education. UNESCO is supporting RUTELCO with equipment and capacity building through the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). 50 participants from RUTELCO centres attended the Conference, where each centre received two connected notebooks under One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, called Plan CEIBAL, which contributes to capacity building of children, teachers and parents.
The participants highlighted recent developments in the projects, which benefited from the IPDC and the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) capacity building support:
- The School of Citizenship and Informatics (Escuela de Ciudadania e Informática, ECI) in Cerro Pelado got its community radio El Chasque FM legalised, and it has been broadcasting since 28 September 2008;
- Radio Comunitaria Masoller FM 91.1 also got its license in October 2008;
- Internet Radio RUTELCO is already working online and presenting its first interviews;
- Children radio, broadcast on Internet Radio RUTELCO, started its training in two ECIs in Montevideo.
The participants noted that the new ANTEL portal allows now the RUTELCO members to share their profile and activities online. They suggested creating thematic groups for future cooperation on capacity building, distance education, video production, community radio, Free and Open Source Software (FLOSS), and HIV and AIDS.
UNESCO presented the activities of its Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, and launched the video 'Access Centres to Information' about these four countries. The main idea of the video, produced in cooperation with the Foundation Press, is to inform on the broad spectrum of CMC activities and to facilitate the cooperation between different CMCs in technical and social projects, such as FLOSS, HIV and AIDS, capacity building, distance education, telework, and integration of people with different capabilities.