UNHCR Kenya: Estabilishing Radio Gargaar for refugees at Dadaab
With funding from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), SMDC established Radio Gargaar in Dadaab and continues to broadcast programming from the refugee complex. The aim of setting up Radio Gargaar’s studio in Dadaab was to help refugee refugees develop radio programs for an estimated Somali audience of 300,000 people.
The establishment of Radio Gargaar studio in Dadaab was aimed at enforcing information sharing and enhancing development activities at the camp.
The station also provides jobs to refugee community journalists and mobilisers who will take the lead in running daily activities and empowering young refugees.
Radio Gargaar was established after realising the need for refugees to access accurate information and raising awareness about world events and important commemorations.
Gargaar, which means “Assistance” is a name derived from the Somali language, common among nationalities at the camp.
In 2014, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency established a “Ask UNHCR” weekly live radio talk-show on Radio Gargaar, which is run by Star Media Development Centre, to interact with the refugee community in Dadaab camps.
The talk-show complemented UNHCR’s daily field visits and monitoring work. The show was aimed at providing general public information that will complement UNHCR’s service delivery activities in camps. Each UNHCR sector unit including Protection, Health & Nutrition, Community Services, Education, Environment, External Relations, Technical and Field participated in the live discussion.
The talk show was an important community outreach initiative handy for situations where security conditions for humanitarian workers are precarious. It was generally a question-and-answer live thematic group discussion which was aired on a weekday for two hours on Radio Gargaar.