Writing & Communications

Community Radio Broadcasting

Broadcasting from its studio on the third floor of a historical Community Center, this radio station provides its listeners with a unique perspective on a wide variety of issues. Against the hegemonic media, the radio seeks to be a tool that is presented as an alternative for the population.

Background Information

The project to start a radio station began in 2008 when the idea came forward to organize communication and press for the community center in La Boca. At that time, a group of untrained women was chosen to learn about radio production and communication. They were trained and taught at another station to learn how to run their own. Later, they were trained in social communication, how to do it, how to inform, the necessary steps. They also learned from other journalists through meetings over about a year. Finally, the radio started broadcasting on July 10, 2011. And today they collaborate to host multiple live programs and broadcast daily online.

The radio broadcasts 24 hours. Sometimes live programs, sometimes not. They usually broadcast live an afternoons show during the week that is repeated the following morning; a show dedicated to multiple kinds of information, about education, culture, current events in America, also about health –these are called columns—. Guests with knowledge about specific topics also come to discuss their work. In general, the program talks about the problems in the neighborhood, the city, and throughout Latin America. But in addition to problems, the program also talks about what organizations are doing, what cultural centers are doing, and also what activities are being offered that are cheap or sometimes free, all to provide support to the members of the community. They also have an exclusive program about culture for which artists come in to talk about things like cinema and music. This program helps to provide information about using art to enhance our listeners' lives. Additionally, cultural centers are in danger of being shut down and they try to distribute information to defend them.

Why is this project important for the community?

First, the idea of the radio station was to inform the members of the organization, but later, this expanded to the neighborhood and other organizations, so people could stay informed about the community center. The necessity was then identified that beyond communicating amongst ourselves, something stronger was needed. The radio station was to be created and used as a social and political communication tool; it was seen as an urgent need because a voice was needed for the neighborhood, but also for Latin America as a whole. They broadcast on the internet now, so their ideas have to do with the entire region. They hope to provide people with information that helps them realize they can learn and accomplish things they didn't think they were capable of and instill the confidence and self-esteem in people that they need to try new things to improve their well-being; to instill the idea in people that they can always accomplish more. The biggest difference between a community radio station and the mass media is that the community radio tries to establish real, honest communication, whereas mass media communicates the things that are in their best interest to distribute. A community radio defends the interests of the people.

 Volunteer's Role

Volunteers can help us with a variety of things, including gathering materials about our programs from foreign sources and translating them to Spanish for us, help during live broadcasting, they can even propose and write a weekly column. How the volunteer can help depends on how long they are in Buenos Aires and their level of Spanish. Volunteers who have knowledge of the operating system of a radio station can also help with that or will also be able to organize new programs to add to the roster. Volunteers can help with social communication by visiting the neighborhoods and interviewing local inhabitants and thinking about how to best manage social handles and develop advertising strategies for the radio.

What can you learn as a volunteer?

At the radio station, there are endless opportunities to learn. The purpose of this place is to transmit information and to also entertain and educate people. To this end, the radio station broadcasts regular programs each day of the week that deal with news and social rights, comparing the viewpoints during debates with people from the area or other communities. The volunteers, thus, have an important function because they can exchange and give their opinions about current issues, with a different point of view and by sharing their own culture with the locals. It is also the perfect place to learn about the political, economic, and social situation of Argentina and to improve their level of Spanish. Finally, it is an opportunity for the volunteer to learn the basics of how a radio station works —if they know nothing yet— and learn more about means of communication in general in Argentina.

Soft skills that communication volunteers are most likely to develop 

Long term volunteers can apply for a soft skills certificate from GLORE, a Project from the EU. You can choose up to 5 skills to certificate according to your experience and will.

 

Availability

Monday through Friday afternoons. This project is available all year round.

Location and first day at work

This radio station is located in the historical neighborhood of La Boca neighborhood, better known for its colorful houses in Caminito. The project can be easily accessed by bus and it only takes about 30 minutes from the city center. Your first week will be dedicated to observing and asking questions to consolidate the information you have so that you can integrate yourself fully into your specific tasks.

Requirements

  1. Valid Passport & Visa: Most travelers do not need a visa to enter Argentina. Volunteers enter the country as tourists and can stay for up to 90 days. Extensions on visas are possible; our coordinators will advise you on this process.

  2. Medical Insurance: Voluntario Global requires the volunteer to have adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program and must be provided with details of such insurance coverage at the time of confirming their placement.

  3. Spanish Level Required: Advanced (C1 – C2)

  4. Minimum Stay: 4 weeks

Community Radio Broadcasting

Assistant at Community Radio Station

This radio station was created in March 2016, with the aim of being a means of communication for the inhabitants of the area and give them access to information they can trust. The radio station strives to be an alternative channel whose role lends the opportunity for listeners to participate in order to create a place of exchange between the different communities in the area. Therefore, this project also represents a fight for the rights of the poorest and excluded communities, in particular for the freedom of speech and information.

Background Information

This project was built from the ground up and the people that work there are local volunteers that constructed everything. Amazingly enough, some of them were volunteers for Voluntario Global in the past. The construction of the space took a year, and the radio station began its programming in March 2016. Since the State does not normally intervene in this area, there is a lack of infrastructure. However, to the people of the community, the radio station symbolizes hope. There are only a few schools in the area and one health center, although there should be one for each neighborhood. The lack of resources also results in health problems due to lack of hygiene and the quantity of garbage. A lot of young people that have neither a disposable income nor access to education are exposed to drug abuse and violence, which increases the insecurity and the isolation of this zone. The reality and outcome of all of this combined are that the police, taxis, and ambulances refuse to come into the area.

Although it's a difficult task, local organizations work on improving their living conditions in any way they can because their local government does not take into consideration the actual necessities of comfortable living when setting up these urbanization projects. "El Hormiguero" is one of the organizations that sprung into life from this endeavor. It is one of the groups that help in educating and organizing the population to improve its standard of living through various activities, fighting for its social rights. They provide school support, host meetings, and are the creators of the radio station.

Volunteer's Role

The radio operates from Monday through Saturday, broadcasting one or two programs per day, with music playing the rest of the time. They try to take into account the cultural wealth of the area and the mix between the communities that come from many different parts of Latin America. They are still working on improving it and are constantly learning new things about how to best run it. Because of this, the main role of the volunteers that work here will be to help them with the most technical parts, such as the operation. However, volunteers will also be able to organize new programs to add to the roster. Volunteers will also help with social communication by going to the neighborhoods to interview local inhabitants and thinking about how to best manage social handles and develop advertising strategies for the radio.

What can you learn as a volunteer?

The purpose of this place is to transmit information and to also entertain and educate people. To this end, the radio station broadcasts regular programs each day of the week that deal with various subjects about the news and social rights, comparing the viewpoints during debates with people from the area or other communities. The volunteers, thus, have an important function because they can exchange and give their opinions about current issues, with a different point of view and by sharing their own culture with the locals. It is also the perfect place to learn about the political, economic, and social situation of Argentina and to improve their level of Spanish. Finally, it is an opportunity for the volunteer to learn the basics of how a radio station works and know more about the means of communication in general, and in Argentina.

Soft skills that communication volunteers are most likely to develop 

Long term volunteers can apply for a soft skills certificate from GLORE, a Project from the EU. You can choose up to 5 skills to certificate according to your experience and will.

 

Location and first day at work

This radio station is located in Villa Soldati, more specifically, in Barrio Fatima. As it is in the suburb of Buenos Aires, it can only be reached using buses or what they call the "premetro". Your first week will be dedicated to observing and asking questions to consolidate the information you have so that you can integrate yourself fully into your specific tasks.

Availability

Monday through Saturday afternoons. This project is available all year round.

Requirements

  1. Valid Passport & Visa: Most travelers do not need a visa to enter Argentina. Volunteers enter the country as tourists and can stay for up to 90 days. Extensions on visas are possible; our coordinators will advise you on this process.

  2. Medical Insurance: Voluntario Global requires the volunteer to have adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program and must be provided with details of such insurance coverage at the time of confirming their placement.

  3. Spanish Level Required: Advanced (C1 – C2)

  4. Minimum Stay: 4 weeks

Assistant at Community Radio Station

Communications Assistant at Voluntario Global

This project is as broad as the area of communication and that allows volunteers to deploy and develop multiple skills. Communication volunteers also get an insight into how grassroots organizations work from a different perspective.

What will you do?

There is a huge variety of tasks available to communications volunteers depending on the volunteers' interests, experience, and the activities going on within Voluntario Global at the time. Some of these tasks include:

  • Updating social media sites: Voluntario Global keeps people up to date with its work and spreads its message through the use of social media such as Facebook and Instagram. It is important to keep these pages up to date with recent activities and new volunteers, and communications volunteers can take on this responsibility.
  • Writing blogs for the Voluntario Global website: Living in the city of Buenos Aires and visiting all the different volunteer projects, there are so many interesting things to write about. Voluntario Global's website has a blog section for volunteer experiences, culture or current issues, and many other topics that you will keep up to date.
  • Interviewing: To ensure that Voluntario Global has up to date information on the volunteers, the projects, and the coordinators working at the projects, you can take on the role of interviewing people. These interviews may be with current volunteers in English or Spanish or with people from in the projects in Spanish and may be used in video form, or be typed up and used for descriptions of projects or website information. This will be possible depending on the availability and schedule of the project.
  • Translating: The Voluntario Global website uses both English and Spanish so volunteers can help to translate information for the website or for the project descriptions.
  • Photography and Video editing: Creating content focused on photography and video; Make interviews, translate, help with the management of our YouTube channel; Create material showing the volunteer's work; Explore what Buenos Aires offers and show sites of the city through pictures and videos.
  • Extra activities: Assist the communications coordinator with different tasks that involve internal work of the organization such as the design of newsletters, power points, campaigns, etc.

To accomplish tasks, the volunteer must possess initiative, collaborative skills, and empathy to join the activities of the different projects.

It is also advisable you bring your own laptop to work more comfortably.

Location and work schedule

Weekly tasks are organized in one or two meetings each week, usually on Mondays and Fridays, to discuss what volunteers will be doing during the week and to share ideas and proposals.

On day one, you will have an introductory talk with your coordinator in Buenos Aires.

On day two, you will be accompanied to a project, depending on availability, and you will visit the same project during the following days to become familiar with the work of a community organization and what volunteers do there.

On your second week, you will meet the Voluntario Global coordinators to make an evaluation of your first week. This week you will continue to go to the project assigned to you and start working on a communications plan.

On week number three, you will have a general meeting in the Voluntario Global office so you can propose a schedule and tasks for your communications plan (related to the community project you have been visiting). This plan will be evaluated to determine its feasibility and weekly outputs. Additional tasks may be determined.

Background Information

Voluntario Global has been working with many social organizations and communities in Buenos Aires for over 10 years. These organizations include kindergartens, educational centers, and community clinics, thus creating a network of solidarity and collaboration among all and helping with resources and volunteers. In 2008, Voluntario Global, the volunteer organization behind Pacheco Community Center, founded its first Youth Cooperative that is still running today. This cooperative is a laundry center named Su Lavanderia and has employed over 50 young students from poor neighborhoods who were studying at university and so working at the cooperative they were able to have an income without dropping out of school. This experience has inspired us to believe that the Pacheco Community Center can be a valuable part of this network.

What should you expect?

We are a small 4-people social organization and we do not have professionals in communications, that is why we mostly rely on the work of volunteers. It is very different to work in a context where most people don't speak English and there is no professional guidance, so that is why we mostly require an intermediate level of Spanish and proactivity from our volunteers (evaluating your work in other contexts does not really tell us anything about your proactivity).

Organizations are not perfect places. You have to always be open-minded: understand the dynamics that imply working in vulnerable zones and with social communities.

Work in an independent environment where you'll have the freedom to come up with your own ideas and be creative. Keep in mind that things may not work the way you want and nevertheless you should have an inventive spirit to find a way through this, no matter the circumstances the projects sometimes have.

Getting to know local communities, understand their culture, their language, and their realities. This will enrich your critical thinking and your perspective.

What do we expect from you?

Someone excited to work in a selfless way, willing to always help, no matter if this sometimes means things can change and you'll have to readjust to new plans.

Soft Skills that communication volunteers are most likely to develop

Long term volunteers can apply for a soft skills certificate from GLORE, a Project from the EU. You can choose up to 5 skills to certificate according to your experience and will.

Availability

You can apply for this program all year round.

Communication's volunteer program schedule varies weekly depending on the work activities. Regular working meetings are set for every Monday and Friday.

Requirements

  1. Valid Passport & Visa: Most travelers do not need a visa to enter Argentina. Volunteers enter the country as tourists and can stay for up to 90 days. Extensions on visas are possible; our coordinators will advise you on this process.
  2. Medical Insurance: Voluntario Global requires the volunteer to have adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program and must be provided with details of such insurance coverage at the time of confirming their placement.
  3. Spanish Level Required: To visit the projects and conduct interviews, volunteers should have an advanced level of Spanish. If you don't have an advanced level, you will be assigned other tasks that do not require you to visit the projects.
  4. Minimum Stay: 8 weeks

Apply

You can apply to this position via Volunteer Latin America Website

Communications Assistant at Voluntario Global