Content of the Myanmar Broadcasts
The Myanmar Service programs basically consist of three elements: evangelization, human development and entertainment.
Listeners say that our programs are:
We follow these guidelines in developing new programs:
Program objectives are tailored to the needs of the listeners.
Give emphasis on education, character-building as the government education system collapsed and private institutions are not allowed
Help towards the application of programs in daily life marked with extreme poverty and political instability
Build inner strength and closeness to God.
The value of radio broadcasts is determined by its listeners. Their loyalty is proven by constantly following the programs whether transmission is clear or not. Accurate and non-biased reporting is essential but also catering to endless song requests and personal dedications help create special bonds among listeners, and make the people of other religions and non-catholic listen to RVA. This became the strength of the Myanmar service.
Program objectives are tailored to the needs of the listeners.
Values for Life
The program is about social and moral values, good character, attitudes that as citizens we should have to make the world a better place to live. It also provides the listeners information about how to keep away from vices and to become useful and good citizens.
This program is highly appreciated by majority of listeners whether they are married or single. For single listeners, they said it educates them in preparation for married life. For married listeners, they come to realize their strengths and weaknesses in performing their duties as parents, husbands or wives. They learned how to build a better and stronger family life by listening to this program.
is Human,s right This is the favorite program of women listeners because the program tackles basic women’s rights, women worker’s rights, International labor standards, successful and encouraging stories about women leaders, women’s fight for democracy etc. The women listeners said this program empowered them with leadership skills and their rights as citizen of the world and not a second class citizens
This program provides the listeners with up-to-date information about health issues, diseases, not only how to prevent them but also how to cure minor illnesses. The listeners who live in rural areas highly appreciate this program because they have less access to doctors or hospitals.
Health Question and Answer Program
In this program, the questions about health issues and diseases were asked by the listeners. Majority of the listeners do not have money or time to consult doctors so whatever they want to know concerning their health, they ask in this program. Many in Myanmar who need proper medical attention do not go to hospitals or clinics but seek relief for their ailments at small grocery stores or sidewalk betel nut vendors in their wards and townships. The owners of these shops and stands serve as their unofficial physicians and pharmacists. Many in the towns and worse in the rural areas, are forced by economic considerations to put their lives in the hands of vendors who know nothing about healthcare or the pharmaceuticals they sell. By the health factor and health care Q&A programs, we try to impart the deprived people about the value of health care, proper precautions, and general knowledge.
Both 'Health programs' are said to be the favorite programs of our listeners and it has been on air for more than 31 years.
Friendship Unlimited/Pen Pal
This program helps the listeners to appreciate friendship, gain more friends, bring peace and harmony among listeners.
Mail Box Program
This is our response to the letters of our listeners. We read their letters and we reply our messages to them. We use this program especially for the feedback letters. It is broadcast only last Thursday of the month. The listeners like this program because they get our directly through the airwaves. This program gives us more feedback about the RVA Myanmar Service.
We try not just to give the information what is happening in the world but also to inform that religion, particularly the Catholic Church is not an abstract thing but it is important and responding concretely to the currents issues, such as economic crisis, abortion, safeguarding environment, moral issues in economy, violence, terrorism, religious tolerance, etc..,. RVA is the only (only) media in Myanmar where people receive information about the Church and how the Church involves herself in the world issues.
Religious Questions and Answers/ Sunday Homily
In Myanmar, there are many remote areas where there are no ordained ministers for Sunday Liturgies so catechists are assigned instead. Since there are no any theological universities in Myanmar, these catechists don’t have enough theological knowledge. Even for the priests in remote areas, it is really difficult to get materials for their homily. Majority of the listeners are poor peasants and labourers, they don’t have access to any library (let alone access to Internet), and they can’t buy any books.
Interfaith/ Ecumenism/ Living Justice and Peace
Knowing RVA’s impact to its listeners, the Myanmar service teams try our best to keep the policy of neutrality, avoiding political interference, but we educate people somehow to join in the construction of a civil society, however tiny the beginnings may be. Everybody wants to change but to what system? We never learned democracy or independence. How to practice democracy without knowing it?
Ecumenical efforts are continually being made, such as those by the Myanmar Council of Churches (BBC) in 1984 and the Ecumenical Commission set up by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar. Yet hostilities between Protestants and Catholics can still be observed even now in some states in Myanmar. The Church in Myanmar is a young Church- young in the sense that it is awakening. It is a Church with great potential. We simply need to lay the right foundation. We realize that the internal and external difficulties faced by the Catholic Church in Myanmar can also be seen as posing challenges to the Church. These challenges concern internal communication between lay person and the clergy as well as external communication with the other Christian denominations, followers of other religions.
The only independent and well organized group In Myanmar is the Church. Therefore the Church could transform the society if we are well prepared. We have to prepare the right person at the right time. Although the Church in Myanmar, like the Catholic Church in general, is not a model of a democratic society; it can still help to prepare people for different social structures. This would be an important contribution to the country’s future and could strengthen the position of the Church in a changed political system and in a society that is in the throes of change as a result. Beginning with its own followers, but extending its efforts to others as well, the Church could use awareness-raising and education to prepare for a democratic life together that respects human rights. It is important to come to a shared understanding and a shared agenda with other religious communities, above all the Buddhist majority in the country.
Catechism of the Catholic Faith Program
is Catechism of the Catholic Church. Our country Myanmar being the Buddhist country we have very little chance to teach faith. Since the nationalization of our mission schools by the government the religion is not allowed to teach in the schools any more. So we take this opportunity to teach religion through the radio. Other religions too have great interest in one another. Understanding of other religions and faith help Myanmar people to have peaceful living together and respecting one another.
Spiritual food program
is meant not only for the catholic but for all people of different faith. The life of Myanmar people is tough. Most people live in anxiety, fear and depression. So this Spiritual Food program tries to lift up people from depression or support them to endure life’s hardship and live life meaningfully. People love this program because it’s really as food to their soul.
Song request program
is more for the youth as entertainment, as finding friendship and keeping friendship alive. Youth loves this program. It gives them joy as well as friends.
Rural Area Development Agriculture
is the key sector of Myanmar’s economy. The agricultural potential is under-realized as evidenced by relatively low yields, input use, irrigation coverage despite ample water resources and low cropping intensity in comparison with other South and Southeast Asian countries. Malnutrition pockets exist in various parts of the country despite overall national food self-sufficiency. (UNDP) Therefore, we seriously consider that agricultural growth is central to any rural development promotion effort. Broad-based and economically efficient rural growth can significantly help to reduce rural poverty by bringing about sustainable increase in productivity and reducing risks and vulnerability for the poorest population.