Rev. Kevin Keegan, National Director, FEBC Australia visits Taree to share how community radio programs are reducing sex trafficking in North India.
Rev. Kevin Keegan will be speaking at Taree Presbyterian Baptist Church this month to showcase how community radio is having a huge impact on the lives of women and girls in Northern India who face exploitation and sex trafficking daily.
“India may have one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but the north of the country remains one of the most spiritually and physically needy areas of the globe,” said Rev. Keegan.
Women in North India face rampant sexual harassment, violent sexual abuse, domestic violence, honor killings, female babies commonly aborted, abduction for slavery, genital mutilation, discrimination in healthcare, inequality in education and abductions for sex trafficking.
“FEBC Australia knows from its many global projects that ongoing education and a sense of self-worth delivers long-term, positive change in communities, so our radio programs in North India focus upon promoting the value of women in Indian society, changing attitudes and offering practical help,” said Rev. Keegan.
The programs results include: a reduction in child mortality and illness, women empowered to make informed decisions and choices for their families, female children valued as much as male children (evidenced in a reduction in abortion of female fetuses), and women who have basic legal knowledge about their rights.
“The response rates to the radio programs are high, with many men responding out of concern for their daughters. We receive more than 20 responses per 15 minute program by phone, sms, email and other social media; all are then followed up by the FEBA India volunteers and programmers.
“The benefit of radio mission is it is highly cost-effective and has incredible reach. Listeners need only a wind-up or solar powered radio that is met by a $30 donation. $15 can fund fifteen minutes of airtime. Often 20 to 30 people will share a radio and gather together to listen as a community, so the breadth and depth of what can be achieved through radio is incredibly powerful,” said Rev. Keegan.
As a small child Rajiya was abandoned by her prostitute mother and unknown father, and raised in the slum as an orphan.
While very young she married to find love, help, security and an opportunity to leave the slum. However, from the outset her husband abused her. She had a child to this man, but the strong physical violence increased, and so too his unfaithfulness. She and her 4 year old son now live back in the slum.
Other women introduced her to FEBC’s radio programs because they had found help and hope in their messages. She testifies to the programs speaking hope into her life. She does not have her own radio and listens with her friends in a small dwelling made of corrugated iron, cardboard and plastic.
“Through a $30 donation we were able to supply a radio to her and she now invites others to listen with her in her home,” said Rev. Keegan.
Rajiya’s is one of many uplifting, encouraging stories FEBC Australia hears from the field. Rev. Keegan will be sharing more news on the 28th May at Taree Presbyterian Church, from 2pm.
For further details about the event contact:
Taree Presbyterian Church
62 High St, Taree
02 6550 0774