Radio Free Association – Youth in Focus20 April 2016 / by Zviad Adzinbaia (author)
If you drop by the Open Society Georgia’s training center on Saturdays, you will probably come across a youth team brainstorming on youth problems in Georgia. The youngsters arduously discuss various difficulties their peers face and try out their ways of reflecting those hitches using internet space.
This is online radio Free Association (FA) - whose dedicated volunteers see no obstacle to contribute to informing Georgian society on diverse matters. In this purpose, the radio, launched back in 2014, has initiated three major programs aimed at establishing effective communication with Georgian civilians.
For instance, ‘Socio’ is the core program of FA mirroring social hardships in Georgia. It enables the radio community to be parts of public debate on common topics. In fact, one of the pressing events developed in Georgia this March, a student riot in Tbilisi State University, was actively reported by the FA team.
Unlike from Socio, the radio’s Weekly Talks is broader in scope reviewing multifaceted aspects ranging from culture to politics and other trending news in Georgia and outside. This program provides an opportunity for the radio editors to discuss any interesting topic for their audience.
And Youth Freedom is the third program, which clearly echoes the youth online radio’s values of freedom and progress. Interestingly, the volunteering team engendered the radio based on these very principles.
FA opens a window of opportunities to university and high-school students to acquire professional skills and get involved into the preparation process of radio shows. A clear specimen for this is Miranda Shekriladze, who has successfully passed her way from an intern to an editor’s position.
The FA members mainly comprise journalism graduates and undergraduates. In their attempt to convert their ideas into practical actions, the enthusiastic young people were greatly assisted by outside sources. Luckily, Open Society Georgia Foundation in collaboration with a Prague-based organization Sourcefabric and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) provided a micro grant for the youth to create their own radio channel. Before inaugurating their original radio show, the FA team received technical and financial aids from the three benefactors.
And currently, the FA leaders are in the midst of their second year of keenly adding to discussions of numerous public problems in Georgia. The group is greatly passionate to make their own portion in encouraging public debate and boosting free opinion in the country.
Doors for the Radio Free Association are open for freethinking, motivated and hard-working youngsters in Georgia.
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