Juba, 26 October, 2019 / 5:38 am (ACI Africa).
While the exact impact of the protracted South Sudan civil strife on the Church is yet to come to the light, Malakal diocese, one of the most affected ecclesial territories in the youngest nation of the world, is attempting to revive the seeming dampened spirits of the people of God through the revival of a damaged and looted radio station, which now requires US$50,000.00 to resume broadcasting, sources at the heart of the initiative have told ACI Africa.
“I would consider US$50,000.00 a gap to be closed and that will help us rebuild and refurbish the radio station and to have something, thinking about the salaries of the personnel for at least some months,” Sr. Elena Balatti, a Comboni Missionary has told ACI Africa referencing Sout al Mahaba Radio, one of the nine radio stations that constitute the Catholic Radio Network (CRN).
Started in 2006 as Sudan Catholic Radio Network (SCRN), CRN is considered a model of Catholic media networking in Africa especially because of the sharing of news reports from local Churches facilitated by a team of editors. As a Catholic media entity, CRN was spearheaded by the Comboni Family of missionary clergy, consecrated Brothers, and nuns in collaboration with the Catholic Bishops in Sudan years before the 2011 referendum when South Sudan became an independent country.
“A few donors, a few private contributions have arrived,” Italian-born Sr. Balatti who is coordinating the fundraising initiatives to get the radio back on air alongside overseeing the office of Justice and Peace of the Comboni Missionaries in South Sudan has told ACI Africa.
Explaining the amount required to make functional the radio station she founded in 2009, she said that the turning of the newly identified building structure into a functional radio station within the premises of the Cathedral in Malakal has been estimated to cost US$90,000.00 and the cost of new equipment at about US$80,000.00.