Community Multimedia Centres
Among other activities for encouraging community empowerment and addressing the digital divide, Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) combine community broadcasting with internet and related technologies. Pilot projects include a regional initiative in the Caribbean, where the aim is to transform existing community radio stations into CMCs, complete with added facilities such as PCs and a combination of fax, telephone, e-mail and internet services. Initial participants include radio stations in Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
A CMC Handbook Guide is available on ‘How to Get Started and Keep Going’, prepared by UNESCO’s Communication Development Division.
Multimedia for Caribbean Communities is a regional initiative piloted through the UNESCO Office in Kingston (Jamaica). The aim is to transform existing community radio stations into CMCs, complete with added facilities such as PCs and a combination of fax, telephone, e-mail and Internet services. Participants include radio stations in Barbados, Cuba, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
In Jamaica, Roots FM Inner-city Community Radio and the Zinclink Cybercafe -- two entities of Mustard Seed Communities, an urban community development NGO in Kingston -- are the hub of a novel learning activity in pooling their traditional and new technology resources together to develop a CMC.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Radio Toco was established in 1997 under the UNESCO Women-speaking-to-Women Programme, in collaboration with the local NGO, T&T/CAN Citizens' Agenda. It has blossomed into a veritable laboratory for community mobilization and community broadcast training in the fight against poverty and promotion of sustainable human development. In recognition of its multiple accomplishments, in April 2004 Radio Toco was awarded the IPDC-UNESCO Prize for Rural communication.
Among the four runners-up of the 2004 Prize was the People First Network Project (Pfnet) in the Solomon Islands. The Pfnet is an ICT development project that supports peace building and poverty reduction through an improved access to information and increased communication capacity in rural areas. Its rural communications system consists of a growing network of solar-powered, community-owned and managed e-mail stations in remote and rural areas connected to the internet gateway in the capital Honiara, disseminating local content dedicated to basic rural needs.
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