Kakuma News Reflector – A Refugee Free Press

Community Radio Established in Kalobeyei Settlement

Posted in Arts, Community and Culture, News Updates by KANERE on March 23, 2020

By KANERE staff writer

REF FM, a new community radio for and by refugees in the Kalobeyei Settlement, is now ready to commence broadcasting for refugees and the host communities.

Kalobeyei Settlement was launched in 2015 after the UNHCR and the Government of Kenya agreed to pilot a new approach to refugee protection by promoting the self-reliance of refugees and the host population through livelihood opportunities and inclusive service delivery. The new approach was developed around the “Choice Theory”, which favors enabling environments that allow refugees and the host population to maximize their potential.

The Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Plan (KISEDP) was officially launched on 2018 December, providing a vision for the first 15 years of this approach. The project is expected to benefit half a million people, out of which 40% are refugee beneficiaries from East African countries. If it succeeds, the FM community radio program will be an additional resource for youth refugees and host communities who have very limited options for education, entertainment and education.

REF FM is intended to foster a growing network of radio stations to help refugees speak out and become more self-reliant even when camp economy remains grey. It is undertaken within a broader vision in which various radio stations will communicate with each other across a network allowing them to learn from each other and share programs, journalists and reactions from listeners, and also inspire each other.


In this photo refugee youth entertaining the residents of Kalobeyei village 1/KANERE

The REF FM website includes a description of their purpose: “Worldwide the number of refugees tends to grow but donor money per refugee tends to shrink. Refugees are more and more required to become self –reliant: from inactive and aid depend helpless ‘outcast’ who beg for support, to active participants in host societies.”

According to the website of the REF FM, the new community radio is still under construction. The studio has been built, the equipment has been installed, the crew has been trained and it is now waiting for the license and the FM-frequency.

The new REF FM will be the second community-based radio, sharing air space with the Ata Nayecha FM station in Kakuma town. Ata Nayeche FM was established with support from International Organization for Immigration (IOM) and funding from Japan. It covers a 70-kilometer radius and enjoys an audience of approximately 120,000 listeners. It has been broadcasting from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily in three languages: Kiswahili, Turkana and Arabic.

Officials of the FM station could not be reached for comment.

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