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Project information

Hands on Health: Tackling Ebola by Community Radio

Sierra Leone has been the country most impacted by EVD (Ebola Virus Disease).

The Hands on Heath project will enable local communities to be active in the response to eradicate Ebola by using media to strengthen community resilience, raise awareness, address stigma & re-build community structures.

January 2016 - October 2016

Charity information: Feba Radio

Feba Radio logo
  • Need


    Sierra Leone was the country most impacted by Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). To date, 12,901 people have contracted EVD & 3,915 have died. Pre-existing health systems have been disrupted, jobs lost, education postponed & Ebola survivors face on-going after-effects. Ebola is viewed with fear & trauma. Those affected by EVD are stigmatised, health services are severely impacted through a mistrust of the health system & community awareness is low in some areas making recovery & prevention difficult.


    Radio is the preferred means for receiving information about Ebola & for reassuring communities. Improved communication with local communities is essential to promoting understanding, tackling the spread & aftermath of Ebola.

    This project will strengthen the local health system, addressing community needs following the epidemic by building resilience, raising awareness & enabling people to come together to be active in their own response through community-centred radio.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Train service providers & locals how to design, produce & present community-centred radio content.


    » Identify villages linked to a health facility & local radio station. Exploratory visit with 3-day design workshop to bring key stakeholders together.
    » Promote awareness/advocacy among key stakeholders to get buy-in & ownership to the concept of a Hands on Health community-centred radio project.
    » Establish a facilitation team to champion the project & identify key issues about the community to inform the content design and production.
    » Deliver content & production training to locals, facilitating the ability to respond to issues & challenges they face through community owned media.

    What success will look like

    Programmes produced through strong community participation.

    Community ownership of the radio station, used as a resource for strong communication on community interest issues.

    Aim 2

    Create strength-based learning cycle, so communities can transfer skills & lessons learnt themselves


    » Implement SALT (Stimulate, Appreciate, Listen & Transfer) methodology. This process offers deep dialogue with communities & supports a learning cycle.

    What success will look like

    Evidence of local autonomy & self-sufficiency by continuing dialogues so communities are able to create solutions to the problems they face, strengthening local networks of support

    Aim 3

    Reduce stigma around Ebola survivors and children orphaned by Ebola.


    » Use radio to address and challenge misconceptions around survivors.
    » Facilitate dialogue between those affected with Ebola to be reconciled with their community.

    What success will look like

    Community reconciliation and inclusion of former marginalised groups into regular activity. Community providing support and care for those in need.

    Aim 4

    Improved health plus improved spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing in Sierra Leone.


    » Health messages & information to prevent further Ebola spread. Responding to individual & collective trauma fthrough Churches & social organisations.
    » Regular visits & engagement with communities by health workers, & rebuilding trust in the health service through programmes that address concerns.
    » Enabling community health initiatives & discussions; facilitating community ownership of their own health needs & that of the wider community.
    » Addressing wider health needs (such as maternal health, the immunisation of children, take-up of HIV treatment) through outreach & messaging

    What success will look like

    Increased take up of health clinic services, reduced mortality & new transmissions (Ebola & other preventable diseases) inter-generational health knowledge, improved wellbeing.

  • Impact


    Community ownership, promoted within communities through radio will help contribute to a ‘social vaccine’ for Ebola, whereby communities use their strengths and experiences to contribute to solutions.

    Health messaging will seek to inform and engage, bringing long term change to communities and containing further outbreaks by enabling communities to rebuild and stay vigilant against a re-emergence of Ebola.

    New levels of dialogue, understanding and trust will be brokered across stakeholders.


    Stories shared may deal with sensitive, personal issues & possible tensions
    Appropriate training delivered to facilitate good working relationships & on-going monitoring
    Different partners not working together well
    Strong coordinator to be identified as a key role
    Health services may not respond well to community feedback & engagement
    Process method based upon bridging gaps between service users & providers
    Radio platform mis-used for own agendas
    Strong guidelines set & monitored by community


    Our quarterly magazine reports on the progress of our Partners' work & their projects. We also have an online presence where stories are shared across social media, our website & blog. Major donors receive personalised reports on an ongoing basis. Project information is shared at supporter events.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £8,000 Facilitation Team Training 3 day exploratory visit, flights & 1 follow up skills development workshops.
      £2,500 Programme Manager 25%FTE + national insurance
      £1,000 Community Mapping Conducting surveys to establish project baseline & buy-in
      £1,500 Conducting of SALT visits expenses for visits
      £1,000 Community conversations Venues, general expenses, publicity
      £2,000 Radio Production Equipment, production costs, studio time etc
      £2,000 Online platform Set up, equipment - camera, laptop, licences
      £2,000 Travel & Transport Internal travel - taxis, buses
  • Background


    Potentially the Port Loko district, a northern province of Sierra Leone, 120km north of the capital, Freetown. The area is covered with shallow swamps and twisting rivers, which make Ebola control measures difficult.

    Port Loko is one the main epicentres of EVD in Sierra Leone. It is the most populous District in the North and the fourth most populous District in Sierra Leone.

    It is also the location of the only international airport in Sierra Leone.


    Communities affected by Ebola in the designated project area & neighbouring communities.

    With a population of 550,000 people Port Loko largely consists of the Temne ethnic tribe (UN figures).

    Part of the community has struggled with stigmatising Ebola survivors believing they possesses unnatural powers as they did not die of the virus.

    Gatherings have been banned, education suspended, increases in teenage pregnancies & violence.

    Established cultural rituals, like burial rites disrupted.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Feba has an established network of partners already in the area who distributed radio handsets in a previous project during the initial Ebola outbreak.
    Feba's focus is on enabling local partners to use media to reach out to the communities they serve & is used to playing a key role in facilitating networks
    Feba UK has significant expertise and proven experience in media, working in crisis situations, being nvolved in community transformation through the power of radio for over 50 years

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Stephanie Mooney - UK Partnership Team Director

    Stephanie oversees a diverse portfolio of partners & projects for Feba, across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

    Dr. Ian Campbell

    Mentors local implementers working to help communities reflect on their own capacity, developing the ability to change their own lives & circumstances

    Jonathan Hargreaves

    Jon works for our partner HCR, bringing community members & organisations together to facilitate the creation of a community-centred media strategy.


    A strong and active partner radio station, linked to a health facility in Sierra Leone.