APRIL 1, 2021
Each month, we eagerly anticipate the spiritual programs and videos released on JW Broadcasting. However, many of our brothers in Africa cannot access these programs on the Internet. Why not?
Much of Africa has limited Internet access. And where access is available, it is often slow or very expensive. For example, a circuit overseer in Madagascar once downloaded a single JW Broadcasting monthly program at an Internet café. He was billed $16, which is more than some people earn in a week!a
Despite these difficulties, millions in Africa may now enjoy JW Broadcasting without using the Internet. How?
Since 2017, JW Broadcasting has been made available to those living in sub-Saharan Africa via a satellite-television channel. This channel is broadcast free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 16 languages.
To accomplish this, Jehovah’s Witnesses contract a television broadcast service to transmit content via satellite. The satellite that is used covers some 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The contract costs more than $12,000 per month. From time to time, an additional amount is paid to broadcast live events on a separate channel. This allows thousands to enjoy conventions or special programs in connection with branch visits.
Many people, including non-Witnesses, view the JW satellite channel on a television at home. However, a number of our brothers cannot afford to purchase the equipment needed to watch the satellite channel. To help them, over 3,670 Kingdom Halls have been equipped with satellite-receiving equipment so that brothers and sisters can watch JW Broadcasting there. The equipment, including delivery, costs approximately $70 if the Kingdom Hall already has a television or a projector. Otherwise, the necessary equipment can cost up to $530.
Our brothers and sisters greatly appreciate the channel. An elder in Cameroon says: “It is like manna in the middle of the desert for our family.” Odebode, a brother in Nigeria, says: “We watch the channel as a family three times a week. My children always look forward to those moments. They even request that we switch to the JW channel at other times.” Rose, also in Nigeria, says: “I am happy to say that the JW satellite channel has replaced my addiction to the news channel. When I watched the news, I was easily irritated by what I saw and my blood pressure would rise. But JW Broadcasting is so upbuilding and serene! It is my favorite channel. It is a big blessing from Jehovah.”
A circuit overseer in Mozambique reports that in his circuit, Kingdom Halls have been set up with equipment to receive the satellite channel. Brothers in these congregations arrive one hour or more before the meeting to watch JW Broadcasting via satellite.
For the 2019 international convention in Johannesburg, South Africa, the channel was used to transmit key talks, including those given by a Governing Body member, to nine other locations. Sphumelele, from the local Broadcasting Department at the South Africa branch, says: “Previously, we would have had to transmit the talks via Internet. But this requires a stable Internet connection and paying data costs. The JW satellite channel was more cost-effective and reliable.”
Thanks to your generous donations to the worldwide work, many of our brothers and sisters in Africa can view JW Broadcasting via satellite. We greatly appreciate the donations you have made through the different methods found on donate.jw.org.
a All dollar amounts in this article refer to U.S. dollars.