Radio Bambina, of Xagħra, is not only a community radio, but a radio for the community. At the beginning, the radio streamed stereo with the only accessible output being a radio tuner. Today, Radio Bambina is an audio-vision streamed live. The story of Radio Bambina in the community has added a sense of belonging during the pandemic – a much more enlarging vision than hearing Mass.
Programmes manager Jesmond Gauci said Radio Bambina is a 37-year-old experience, having a community of listeners, presenters and technicians filled with energy, passion and love for the media.
The man behind all this is Xagħra archpriest Carmelo Refalo who for long been has been toying with the idea that the Church needs a voice like many others in society to transmit the gospel in its subtleness and completeness.
“Radio stations are an extension of the church parvis,” Mgr Refalo said.
When the pandemic hit Malta, the restructuring of Radio Bambina was necessary. Although most of the equipment was changed along the years, the structure was calling for a re-construction.
Feeling the need to restructure, Mgr Refalo met his financial controller Louis Bajada and technicians Manuel Sciberras and John Galea to discuss the way forward.
They delegated Paul Portelli to help in the restructuring. With his past experience in other community radios, especially Radju Luminarja, and his professional expertise, Portelli laid out a plan featuring the needs for the restructuring.
The beginning was difficult and needed determination from all volunteers and financial assistance.
It was on February 2, 2020, the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, when in his homily Mgr Refalo asked the congregation to help him purchase a new radio system. With everyone’s help, they raised the money needed for the new system at one go.
On May 25, 2021, Portelli switched off the old radio and plugged on to a new automated running system.
While the structure is there, the emphasis now is projected differently by the management team with emphasis on the running of the radio station but also on the message of Jesus Christ and the gospel.
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