Kenya, Somalia & Uganda
FM radio rocks in Kenyan slumsThe first radio station to serve Kenya’s informal settlements has been started in Nairobi’s Korogocho slums. KochFM seeks to entertain and educate - and teach - the people in the slums.
The radio station, dubbed KochFM, was conceptualised by a group of young people from Korogocho, which with 500,000 inhabitants is the third largest slum in Nairobi. The concept of KochFM was inspired by similar projects abroad, like Radio Favela, in the slums of Belo Horizonte, Brazil which has been honoured by the United Nations for fighting crime and drugs as well as educating the community.
“With KochFM, we are making a megaphone for the people. Young people are considered to be the most important listeners, and are the station's main target group. These are the ones who are in a position to change things for the better, and to build a better future for the people of Korogocho,” says Richard Sveen, a sound engineer who has been supporting the youth initiative.
Together with Inger-Lill Persett, a participant in the Norwegian Fredskorpset exchange programme in Kenya since October 2005, Sveen presented the idea of KochFM to Norwegian Church Aid. The Kenya programme of Norwegian Church Aid responded with an offer to support KochFM with equipment and containers to be used as office and studio space.
Adding value to a job well done
“Such an initiative is very positive and we at Norwegian Church Aid are happy to work together with KochFM, not only in providing material things but also in building relationships and giving moral support that can add value to the good work the young people are doing,” says Yussuf Aweis, Norwegian Church Aid’s Chief Logistics Officer in Nairobi.
The radio station, using a transmitter that was built by supporters of the Norwegian initiative, has the capacity to transmit within a radius of five kilometres. This means that the station can reach other neighbouring areas with its positive messages.
KochFM’s editorial focus includes hygiene, HIV and Aids, environment, governance, gender equality, culture and the fight against crime and drugs.
“Our programmes will raise awareness on issues we perceive to be pertinent in our country, but specific to us in Korogocho and other slums. We have received words of goodwill from the government and the Communications Commission of Kenya,” says Njeru Munyi, one of the leaders of the youth initiative.
Njeru and his colleagues Abdi Hussein and Geoffrey Mureithi had visited Norwegian Church Aid’s office in Eastern Africa to share their experiences.
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