RNW Media received a €34 million subsidy for the period 2017 through 2020. Allocated from the Human Rights Fund of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the funding will contribute to promoting freedom of expression among the world’s youth. It will be used to encourage young people to talk about sensitive subjects such as democracy and sexuality, in areas where these subjects are often taboo. In 2015, RNW Media’s websites reached over 36 million young people in Africa, the Middle East and China.
Democracy and sexuality
RNW Media – formerly Radio Netherlands Worldwide – dedicates itself to two themes: Citizen’s Voice and Love Matters. With these themes, RNW Media channels two subjects important to youth worldwide: having their voices heard within a democratic process, and expanding their understanding of healthy sexuality. RNW Media works intensively with partner NGOs, local universities and embassies. Jacqueline Lampe, CEO of RNW Media: “We offer youth, who live in countries where freedom of speech is seriously limited, perspectives and hope for the future. We do this by offering them a voice and platforms through which they can discuss what’s important to them. For example, bloggers in China and Burundi can compensate their respective country’s lack of press freedom and dialogue by offering honest information and stimulating publications.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to subsidise RNW Media through 2020. With this collaboration, RNW Media can fully focus on its new working approach. Lampe: “With this backing, we can now enter a new phase, implement innovations and making our organisation’s ambitions come true. This involves putting youth in countries where freedom of expression is under pressure in a more central position. Local teams and partners will also now mostly be the ones who implement our activities. After all, they know the local situation and youth the best.”