Local Resource Mobilisation Through the Media
The project was not without challenges. Some people thought that there was a political agenda behind this programme, particularly given that the 2005 general elections were around the corner. Also, as mentioned above, many people living in the rural areas had not received significant assistance from various groups that had all visited the area before. The TV crews also had their own challenge of convincing victims of their role in the project, i.e., mobilising Tanzanians, the Commission for AIDS and the government to fully understand their living conditions to take positive action.
Valuable lessons learned
1. People living in urban environments tend to be ignorant of the gravity of the sufferings rural people face.
2. People are ready to respond positively if well-informed about certain issues or areas of concern.
3. A television programme is the best way to deliver messages effectively — seeing is believing.
4. A TV programme can be a powerful way of promoting one’s cause or raising resources — but can be expensive. It can be extremely successful in raising resources at the time of disaster or when an issue has hit the headlines. The information will reach people at a time when you know that something needs to be done — and you are offering them a way of helping.
5. Assistance, however small, gives a big relief to those in a desperate situation.
6. There are untapped local sources that can contribute to the improvement of people’s living conditions.
The future of the media’s role in resource mobilisation is bright. More NGOs are seeing the important role the media can play in educating society on various issues and, as a result, motivating people to give. A quick survey on resource-mobilisation methods has revealed that the media fundraising method is yet to be exploited, although it is estimated that its use will increase. It should be noted that the media is willing and ready to give a helping hand provided it is asked.