Message about Community Radio in Haiti from AMARC

To all of you who have made offers of help through AMARC, the following is a report we prepared a couple of days ago. Our team is now in Port au Prince and should be reporting back preliminarily by the end of this week. Meanwhile, we are gathering information regarding resources that may be available for efforts in the next 2 months or so. If you have equipment and/or time & technical skills, please let AMARC in Montreal know. It would be helpful to know exactly what equipment or skills you have, whether you are free and willing to travel, whether you can support yourself or have support from a station or organization, and your location. Thanks again for your help and interest.

Elizabeth (Robinson)
AMARC/SAKS Urgence-Haiti Update #2, 21/01/10
For more information and to contact AMARC visit:

- SAKS office (PP) destroyed, staff alive and well, contact re-established by email and phone

- REFRAKA office (PP) destroyed, staff alive, one injured
- At least 12 community radio stations assessed to be strongly or severely affected
- First AMARC/SAKS Urgence-Haiti international mission to arrive Port-au-Prince 24/01/10
- Immediate priority to assess worst affected areas including Grand Goave, Petit Goave, Leogane
- Unprecedented response in offers of support from international community radio movement

SAKS (Sosyete Animasyon ak Kominakasyon Sosyal) - office (34 rue
Dalencourt, PP) was totally destroyed, re-established telephone contact on 18/01 with Sony Esteus, Executive Director SAKS and Vice President AMARC, all staff reported as alive and well, re-established email contact with Sony on 19/01. Communications remain difficult and intermittent. Seeking to establish temporary office.

REFRAKA (Haiti Community Radio Women's Network) - office (36 rue Dalencourt PP) was totally destroyed, one member of staff, Marie Guyrleine Justin, reported as injured.

Community radio stations - 12 stations identified as being in strongly or severely affected areas including 6 AMARC members - Radyo Saka (Grand Goave),
Radyo Zetwal Peyizan (Leogane),
Radyo Echo (Petit Goave), Radyo
Kominote Klofa Pye (Vallue, Petit Goave),
Radyo Flanbo (Cayes Jacmel),
Radyo Kominote Bel Ans (Belle-Anse) -
and 6 other community radio stations
identified - Radyo Boukman (Cite Soleil, PP),
Radyo Kenskoff Inter (Kenskoff),
Radyo Men Kontre (Petit Goave), Radyo Azuie Inter (Fond
Parisien), Radyo Fondwa (Fondwa) and
Radyo La Vallee Jacmel (La Vallee, Jacmel).

Radyo Fondwa report of building destroyed and two staff died.
Reports of Radyo Saka journalists involved in local relief organisation.
No other news from the above despite repeated attempts to contact by phone and email.
Of 40 other community radios in Haiti, a further 8 are nearby and may have experienced moderate effects and/or are in areas where significant numbers of people are seeking refugee. AMARC has prepared a list of 20 community radio stations to prioritise with immediate attention to worst affected areas outside PP.
See" for a map, impact assessment, and contact details for the radios.

International mission - Preparation underway in Santo Domingo. For the first mission we have a team of 5 people: Eduardo Garcia (UDECA/Radio Santa Maria/ALER) and Adoniz Mendez (Radio Santa Maria) are in Santo Domingo and assisting with logistics (transport etc). Francesco Diasio (Amisnet/AMARC-Europe) and Jane Regan will arrive in Santo Domingo on 23
January. Sony Esteus is in Port-au-Prince and arranging local logistics.
This is an assessment mission with some basic repairs capability and small items including one emergency replacement FM transmitter, repair kits, reporter kits, netbooks.

The mission is scheduled to travel into Haiti on 24 January and will aim to coordinate with other media support organisations in PP on 25 January, before commencing assessment visits outside PP. Objectives to assess the status of the community radios and their personnel, to assure (where possible) their integration into the humanitarian information network (including basic repairs and basic guidance on humanitarian relief reporting), to assist re-establishment of SAKS community radio support

Immediate priority is to travel outside Port-au-Prince to a cluster in some of the worst affected areas - around Leogane, Grand Goave and Petit Goave - where there are 5 community radios. After that, to visit other clusters of radios in areas badly affected - including La Vallee Jacmel, Cayes Jacmel, Fondwa, Belle Anse, Grand Saline, Kenscoff, Fonds Parisien and Verette - then return to Port-au-Prince.

The first assessment mission is to be completed by 2 Feb but Francesco will remain in the field to provide additional support to Sony/SAKS and to prepare the ground for further incoming support.

Unprecedented international media solidarity - initial mission is a multinational effort with mission team volunteers from US, Italy, Dominican Republic and Haiti, supported by AMARC offices in Montreal, Buenos Aires, Rome, Kathmandu and with partners and supporters including ALER (Latin America), Amisnet (Italy), FMYY (Japan), BHN (Japan), Austin Airwaves (US), Combine (Indonesia), UDECA (DR), Radio Santa Maria (DR), Radio Enriquillo (DR), Free Voice, Open Society Institute. Offers of
technical support and international volunteers have been received from all continents. BHN, a Japanese communications NGO with extensive emergency experience, are sending two technical experts to arrive Haiti 23 or 24 Jan, for initial assessment with potential follow-up to provide community mini FM radio station, distribution of radio receivers, simple community
address system with loudspeakers and microphone. Combine, Indonesian community media NGO with experience in Aceh and Yogjakarta, have offered technical expert with disaster relief communications experience and FM broadcast equipment. Austin Airwaves (Texas) have offered an international volunteer to bring and install a complete FM broadcast unit including antenna. Free Voice have offered to provide emergency replacement equipment and technical assistance. Free Voice and Open Society Institute providing joint financial support to initial emergency response.

For further information follow:
Contacts for first mission:
Francesco Diasio fdiasio (at) amisnet

Jane Regan jane (at)

In Santo Domingo Eduardo Garcia
Radio Santa MarĂ­a: 809 573 2722 y 809 573 3900
egatamayo (at)

In Port au Prince Sony Esteus SAKS / AMARC Haiti
509 3701-5029, 509 3409-5029
saksht (at), sonikoeste (at)

AMARC International Secretariat (Montreal) Marcelo Solervicens, Secretary General secgen (at)

AMARC Latin America and Caribbean (Buenos Aires) Paula Castello, Projects Coordinator paulacastello (at)

Elizabeth Robinson KCSB 91.9 Associate Director for Media Associated Students University of California Santa Barbara
elizabeth.robinson (at) AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters),