The arms of BCIT’s Broadcast and Media Communications department have reached out to have a very positive impact in Africa!
North Vancouver nurse Marie Mackay spends half her year in British Columbia, and half in Kenya. A few years ago, Marie approached the Broadcast Department, along with other local radio stations, to see if any surplus radio equipment might be available to help create a new radio station under the auspices of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in the city of Kakamega, Kenya. The objective was compelling: HIV/AIDS is rampant in Africa, and there is a crying need for women to receive education and training that can help prevent the spread of these diseases, along with malaria, in this equatorial region. Radio is an ideal medium for disseminating important information and an international effort was launched to create a station to deliver the goods.
Then president Tony Knowles gave the go-ahead for a long term loan of audio equipment that was no longer in use and was being held in storage for “film prop” applications. A container full of equipment donated by local broadcast operators arrived in Nairobi, and the construction process began. When the station had secured its license, it went on the air, and today delivers on its promise as MMUST FM Radio, operating under the auspices of the School of Open Learning and Continuing Education (SOLACE). MMUST FM delivers its educational content to a diverse student population and training programs are in place to bring people who will provide content up to speed on radio operations.
Other partners such as the Commonwealth of Learning contribute to the success of the venture, which has become yet another example of BCIT’s impact on our increasingly smaller world.