LifeNets makes grant for Sierra Project in Colombia, South
America as part of Livelihood Development Program
Helps create jobs in an economy with unemployment rate
March 9, 2011
by Peter Eddington
We have an exciting update regarding the
blog filed on November 19, 2010, about
Beyond Today being produced in Spanish. In a small family production studio in Santa Rosa del
Sur, Colombia, members are producing Spanish voiceovers for
our Beyond Today TV program. The family production
studio is called
What is SIERRA PRODUCTIONS?
It is a small enterprise created
by the Sierra Brothers in association with CABLESAN TV which
produces commercials and documentaries for radio and
television. It focuses mainly on suburban or small-town
population groups—and is now volunteering time to do Spanish
voiceovers for Beyond Today television programming.
It has been a blessing for people in Latin America to have
access to the program in Spanish. And
now, thanks to this group of people in
Colombia, a number of Beyond Today TV programs can
be seen and heard by anyone that speaks Spanish.
in June 2002, the non-profit organization LifeNets
helped them set up this production studio, and through the many
hours that these people have volunteered we can now reach a
bigger audience than ever before—without a language barrier. However,
with the editing system now almost ten years old, it was in
great need of upgrading and replacement.
So, here is the latest update on this story: The United
Church of God home office purchased new computer editing
equipment for the project in December 2010 and shipped it to the
studio in Colombia. But, to cap things off, LifeNets reimbursed
United for the whole cost of purchase and shipping!
Much thanks goes to Victor Kubik and LifeNets for their
generosity and willingness to help a small family business in
need in a developing country—and all for a business such as this
that is doing it’s part to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom
in the Latin American world.
Thank you to all who helped with this equipment upgrade.
Peter Eddington—Producer, Beyond Today
November 19, 2010 -- the blog entry
Update From the Spanish
We have been very busy the last couple of months in the
Spanish media department and we have some very exciting news to
share. As of yesterday, four of the
programs have been fully translated into Spanish and they are
available online for anyone to watch.
In a small family production studio, our brethren in Santa
Rosa del Sur, Colombia, started doing Spanish voiceovers for the
TV programs after being greatly impressed with the content and
production quality. They felt it would be a blessing for other
members in their area to have access to it, so they asked for
the assistance of a member in the United States to translate the
program. And now, two months later, thanks to this group of
members in Colombia, the program
can now be seen and heard by anyone that speaks Spanish.
Thanks to LifeNets, an organization that helped them set up this
production studio 10 years ago, and the many hours that these
members have volunteered, we can now reach more people than ever
before, without a language barrier.
program will complement the
Las Buenas Noticias magazine as well as the local
member bulletin called
El Comunicado, along with many booklets
and a newly launched Internet advertising campaign.
This ad campaign has already received over 4,000
Buenas Noticias magazine subscribers after only 10 days on
Thank you for your continued prayers as we move forward in
preaching the good news of the coming Kingdom of God to the
Spanish Media Department
June 25, 2002
LifeNets, as part of its mission to help people help themselves, gives
support to the Sierra Project in which a group of people provided funding for
more than 50% of the project. LifeNets will help fund this project that
will provide four direct and six
indirect jobs in an economy with an unemployment rate of 35%. What made this
proposal attractive to LifeNets was that those involved in the Sierra Project
had already raised 50% of the funding needed and requested the remainder as a
LifeNets decided to make an outright grant $1000 to the project and
made an additional loan for $1232 to be repaid in six months. This
is extremely great value in helping create the extra jobs. Leon Walker and
Victor Kubik each made a $100 contribution for the grant.
The Sierra Project is spearheaded by two brothers who have considerable
experience as broadcast announcers. They have formed Sierra Productions
and the entire proposal is explained below written by
Claudio José Sierra.
Reports will be made regularly to our LifeNets supporters about how this
Sierra Project is proceeding. The dollar exchange rate for Colombian pesos to
the U.S. dollar is 2150 to one, so don't be shocked by the astronomical peso
PROPOSAL Approved by LifeNets
Presently, Colombia has an
unemployment rate of 35% which has greatly affected the population in the cities of Codazzi and Valledupar forcing us to move to other areas such as Santa Rosa del
What is SIERRA PRODUCTIONS?
It is a small enterprise created by the Sierra Brothers in association with
CABLESAN TV which produces commercials and documentaries for radio and
television. It focuses mainly on suburban or small-town population groups.
This proposal would give employment to 10 people.
Santa Rosa del Sur is a
town in the state of Bolívar with about 35,000 people. It serves mainly as a
communications hub for the region, this being the main way in which it
influences the inhabitants of the area. SIERRA PRODUCTIONS, working successfully
as administrator of the local radio station for a year without any competition,
now looks to employ directly four people and an additional six indirectly. One
of the most important sales opportunities is the recording of events such as
weddings, birthday celebrations, parties and family get-togethers. Such events
have garnered income of 7,000,000 pesos. Up to the present I have been working
with Santa Rosa Stereo Radio which reaches some 50,000 households in the states
of Norte de Santander, Santander del Sur, Bolívar, Cesar and half of Magdalena.
Here SIERRA PRODUCTIONS can tap an untouched market as far as the production of
commercials is concerned. Even now the station has very little in-house
production equipment and is basically lacking the techniques that modern
advances offer. Through proper contacts with the station directors, one could
forge an excellent working relationship since they would benefit from the
modernization of their radio commercial production facilities. This would help
us in three ways:
In production of commercials, which costs between 20,000 and 50,000
pesos each, depending on length. If currently running ads are updated, we are
talking about 2,000,000 pesos income for ad production, and this in one month.
Establish standardized advertising rates, present them in a personalized
portfolio to the station, and then settle on the cost of airing the ads. In
effect, we would function as the middleman bound to the standard advertising
rate, netting a profit of 20% on each transaction. Presently the station
receives monthly per client per ad account an average of 100,000 pesos. If
current clients only are considered, we are talking about the broadcast of 20
commercials daily. Based on this and doing the simple math, we arrive at 400,000
pesos a month.
The direct broadcasting of special events such as soccer games,
exhibitions and community activities needing a sponsor can be negotiated with
the station according to amount of airtime needed. Using this method an average
monthly income of 800,000 pesos can be projected. Weekly soccer games each
Sunday earn an average of 200,000 pesos per broadcast. This money comes from the
commercial sponsors, and they are charged from 10,000 to 20,000 pesos per game,
depending on how many times they wish their commercials to be run during the
course of the game. This pertains only to scheduled broadcast programs and does
not take into account other unscheduled events.
Television programming has
been a partnership with CABLESAN TV which owns the equipment and of which we
have served as the administrators. Even with the partnership dissolved, a lot
could still be done in this field. A community access channel broadcasting local
events alternately with the radio station could be very productive earning
income from the following:
Commercials aired daily during general interest programs. Based on
standard advertising rates of 50,000 pesos per month per ad, estimated total
monthly income should be on the order of 500,000 pesos. This would be in a sense
free advertising, since once people see the quality of the programming, many
should be motivated to contract our services for their own special occasions.
These will not be high-cost commercials because they will use the same format as
the radio ads, simply adding the televised images.
The filming of special events will be the most labor intensive since
birthday parties, weddings, exhibitions and entertainment groups require work
contracts. The present cost of 100,000 pesos for two hours of filming represents
monthly earnings of up to 2,000,000 pesos.
Making copies of special videos for those who did not contract with us
beforehand can be profitable generating earnings of up to 500,000 pesos a month,
depending on the time of year. For example, soccer teams will want a video of
the game, and two or three others could request copies at a selling price of
40,000 pesos each. In another instance, a video could be made of a municipal
beauty pageant and copies sold to each contestant.
Special documentaries can be produced focusing on city hall events and
the community hospital and can be televised on the station staffed by SIERRA
PRODUCTIONS and sponsored by local groups or organizations. This past year four
such documentaries were produced, and their airing earned 5,000,000 pesos. This
came about by means of package deals which included both production and
Package contracts offering both film footage and still photos can produce
earnings of 100,000 pesos per event.
personnel and equipment costs could be broken down as follows:
An announcer/writer is paid at a rate of 10,000 pesos per commercial.
This leaves SIERRA PRODUCTIONS earnings of 10,000 pesos per commercial.
An announcer covering an event for radio—a soccer game, for
example—receives 50% of the earnings, leaving net income of 30%, since 20% goes
to the radio station for air time.
A video cam operator covering an event can save an estimated 10,000 pesos
of the editing costs of 50,000 pesos an hour, thus leaving production costs of
40,000 pesos per hour of filming.
A contracted secretary/receptionist/accountant at base salary plus office
space rental comes to 100,000 pesos monthly.
A data entry clerk/editor and TV broadcast technician can both be hired
at minimum wage.
Blank video and audio cassette costs per month, depending on discounts,
is estimated at 300,000 pesos.
A market researcher in charge of coming up with standardized industry
rates would be paid on commission at 10%, leaving another 10% as earnings per
SKY service for daily programming maintenance; the daily downtime would
be filled with on-hand programs or commercials.
As visualized this work
project would directly create four positions and six indirectly, all of which
would be filled by Church members. Such a payroll as described above plus
electricity costs, computer technicians and other services could total
10,000,000 pesos, leaving a net income of some 2,000,000 pesos monthly. This is
not a lot, but taking into account the 10 jobs created, it is quite a positive
A negative factor in this
positive start has been the rupture of relations between SIERRA PRODUCTIONS and
CABLESAN TV because of policy differences relating to the Sabbath and the Holy
Days on which we do not work. Even so, we still have an open playing field
before us if we wish to launch ourselves into the commercial advertising
Presently we have only a
personal computer, of no value as an editing tool but which can handle the
office business of the secretary. We have yet to purchase office equipment, the
cost of which is estimated below:
A CPU with the following
One hard disk drive of 40
A memory of 260 megabytes of RAM
Two audio cards (input and output)
One TV video card (All In Wonder)
One CD burner
Cost of the above
equipment 2,000,000 pesos
Radio and TV
software 300,000 pesos
New software updating
capacity 500,000 pesos
Two M9000 Panasonic video
cameras 4,000,000 pesos
One long range photographic
camera 1,000,000 pesos
Blank audio and video
cassette tapes 140,000 pesos
One SKY for
One VHS video
One 20-inch TV
PRODUCTIONS has 5,000,000 pesos on hand. For this project all required funding
must be available up front since this is the minimum equipment necessary for
According to projections if
we can get the remaining part of the funding, we can recover our total
investment within one year and half of it within six months.
Our designation as a legal
entity is now pending before the Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Rosa
Association of Broadcasters.