Microfinance in the air
DINARI, the microfinance institution I am working at in Indonesia, prides itself on sponsoring innovative projects and spearheading new initiatives. For example, they are currently working on a joint-venture with Habitat for Humanity building houses for low income people in west Bali. The most recent project DINARI has undertaken is a joint-venture with KGCB Radio, a station based in Denpasar, to develop DINARI’s own radio station. The radio station has yet to officially launch to the public but they are currently building programs and should be “on air” by early April.
The station will be broadcast from the west Bali Christian community of Blimbingsari to all of Bali and eastern Java. When live, the radio station will include programs as diverse as news shows, talk radio, children focused series, and call-in programs. A great number of DINARI clients are pig breeders so there is a plan (I like this) to have a radio show that will be hosted by a DINARI veterinarian. Clients would be invited to call in if, for example, their pig is sick and they want to get advice. A “Car Talk” for pig breeders, if you will. In addition, there will be a program of live testimonials from clients who wish to share their success stories with a greater audience. Widya, the Radio DINARI program director (also a DINARI field officer) told me DINARI is willing to try just about anything for this new venture. DINARI is a Christian organization by origin, and as such, Radio DINARI will also promote positive Christian messages throughout the day.
As powerful method of self-promotion, DINARI’s radio station will also advertise the “how to” of applying for DINARI loans, introductions to DINARI’s various loan programs, and information on DINARI education programs. Several years ago DINARI founded the Business Development Center in Blimbingsari, which is an education center where clients can take training courses on proper pig breeding practices, how to finance and run a micro-business, and how to manage a savings. Since word of mouth is a powerful communication tool in the rural communities DINARI works in the hope is to get the DINARI brand name out to as many villages across Bali as possible. In addition, the program seeks to provide a bridge between youths, entrepreneurs, and DINARI – all for the common goal of stimulating small businesses throughout Bali.
I had the unexpected honor of participating in a live broadcast from Radio DINARI. I have attached a short clip of a conversation I had with Widya, the program director, about the challenges of launching such a project, and the reasons for partnering with KGCB Radio in Denpasar.