Photo: PCV Sephora Wouldu and her Tongan co-host Mosese Ma'asi delivering international headline news in both English and Tongan.
International Hour is a brand new radio show in 88.6 FM Vava'u hosted by PCV Sephora Wouldu and my Tongan counterpart Mosese Ma'asi. Every Friday from 5 PM to 6 PM, they deliver the atleast one international headline news from each of the continent in both Tongan and English. In addition, Sephora plays various international music to compliment with the news. Throughout the program, they talk about various world issues that could influence the lives of the local people in Vava'u. The program has received great reviews from both native Tongan and English speakers with its great inclusiveness of Tonga within the international community.
I have had the privileged to sit in a couple of live radio shows to see the two in actions and I have been very impressed! Sephora and Ma'asi work very well with one another and they both do an excellent job in providing very informative news to all of its listeners. This year, Vava'u now has three radio stations! As a result, it has become a "competitive" new industry here to see who can attract the most radio listeners. The International Hour is an excellent radio show that makes 88.6 FM stand out differently from its radio competitors.
PHOTO: Ma'asi and Sephora chatting it up before the show.
Ma'asi has gained "rockstar" status since he first aired in the radio about a month ago. The children of Matamaka have looked up to him even more and find it very cool when their names are being said in the radio when Ma'asi dedicates songs to the children. In addition, his dedication to volunteering and community service has turned him into a popular counterpart to work with. Other PCVs and groups have been trying take advantage of him to help them with their projects, because it is SO hard to find people like Ma'asi in Tonga who is dedicated and willing to go that extra mile to help make a difference in Vava'u! I often have to remind people, "hey hey hey, his priority number one is me then when I'm gone he's all yours." LOL.
PHOTOS: Ma'asi reading the international headline news at the 88.6 FM radio station.
The Principal of Matamaka and I often listen to the radio show at the school library and we have been impressed with the number of kids who show up to listen. PCV Sephora will be heading out to New Zealand for a short holiday in June and I will participate in the radio program as a guest DJ with Ma'asi taking control of the entire operation. This is a perfect example of skill transfer/traiining of local stakeholders which is somethine Peace Corps is suppose to do! Awesome job Sephora and Ma'asi, keep up the good work!