Cape Town – RX Radio, a station run by children with chronic health conditions from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, has appealed to the public for assistance in keeping its microphones on as the station faces a funding shortfall.
RX RADIO station was launched in 2016 and was the first in the world to train child reporters to broadcast from within a hospital. It has four full-time staff, an intern, and volunteers.
The station could face closure if it is unable to raise R2.2 million to cover operational costs over the next 12 months. A BackaBuddy campaign has been launched.
Station manager Noluyolo Ngomani said: “RX Radio means a lot to the children, as in the past six years of our existence they have found a space where they can see other children with similar health conditions who are thriving, able to draw encouragement from each other and create a sense of community.”
The station operates across the hospitals, RCWMCH, Paarl Hospital, and Brooklyn Chest Hospital, with syndications with four community radio stations – Radio KC, Bush Radio, Bulungula Radio and Radio Khaltsha.
It has trained 135 children and young reporters between the ages of 4 and 18.
Eighteen-year-old Talitha Counter, who contracted meningoencephalitis as a baby, joined RX Radio at the age of 12. Counter will be the first young reporter to be inducted as a “Bright Star” at the South African Radio Awards in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The award-winning station broadcasts 24/7, providing live and pre-recorded programmes including shows, music, podcasts and radio diaries by children with chronic health conditions, their siblings and friends.