Radio - the most important info source in Dadaab

by Lifeline Energy

We are delighted to report that 100 of our solar and wind-up Prime radios funded through the generosity of GlobalGiving donors are being distributed in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps.  The lead organisation responsible for the distribution is UNHCR, who we have worked with since 2006 in Dadaab. 

As we’ve mentioned before, our radios are never “just given away".  In this instance, women’s listening groups will use them to access important information on health, hygiene, domestic violence, the environment and other practical programs.  A guardian who is responsible for the radio’s use and care is either identified by UNHCR as a woman leader, or a listening group elects the guardian themselves.  Each guardian signs a contract with UNHCR ensuring its proper use and care.  Women convene to listen in groups of around 15 listeners who are usually neighbors.  Favored programs include those broadcast on the Dadaab Community Radio Station, the Somali language Star FM and the BBC’s Somali Service. Although 15 may directly benefit from each radio, given the large size of Somali families, each radio is thought to indirectly benefit dozens. 

In addition to the radios, we also sent solar lights from our lighting partner, Nokero.  UNHCR distributed them to secondary school girls, particularly disadvantaged women and disabled children living in the camps.  We know from our own experience how little light, other than expensive kerosene, there is at night in the camps.

Lifeline Energy is committed to providing vulnerable refugees in the camps with access to critical information and education. With the new community radio station Dadaab FM starting broadcasting this year, we hope to be working closely with them to help nurture original informational content.

We’d appreciate if you could share this information with your networks and help get the message out.

Thank you for your generosity.  

The Lifeline Energy Team

Dear Supporter

We can proudly announce that the radios and lights that our GlobalGiving supporters have donated are on route to Dadaab. We’d like to thank you for your generosity and compassion at a time when information access in the Dadaab camps is dire, especially for women. Thanks to you hundreds of women will finally be able to listen to critical and practical information about health, hygiene and female genital cutting, in addition to announcements, news and current events.

Only a fraction of women refugees have radio access and our solar and wind-up Prime radios will make a huge and lasting difference to them and the decisions they make.

In addition to the radios, a small number of Nokero solar lights are also being distributed to secondary school girls who have no means to study after dark. Nokero is a partner organisation of Lifeline Energy.

But we’re not going to stop here, and neither should you!

Tens of Thousands of women urgently need information access. That reality is closer than you think as a new radio station, Dadaab FM, has recently started broadcasting to the refugee population. The station will increase local content offerings in the Somali language and open up a world of possibilities.  

We will be working closely with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the agency appointed by the UNHCR to run the camps. LWF will take an active role in distributing of radios, to cultivate this promising radio station, as well as monitoring the women’s listening groups. Although nascent, Dadaab FM is keen to give women a key role in content creation and presentation. Somali women will have a voice and a say in what they learn and how they develop. But remember, this station is limited in its reach without listening access!

With the constant negative media reports about Somalis in general, it's increasingly difficult to fundraise for this high impact initiative supporting at-risk women. We are reaching out to our supporters to spread the word and help us to continue to assist Somali women refugees.  

Tweet your support with #Information4Dadaab.

Again, Lifeline Energy and the hundreds of women that you’ve helped thank you.  

Best wishes,

Uzma Sulaiman

Tomorrow – Wednesday 19 October – all donations up to $1000 made to GlobalGiving will be matched. Please help us to provide solar and wind-up radios for Somali women and children in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps. Donate and four Prime radios could be donated in your name and you could be featured on Lifeline Energy’s website.

In 2007 Zheinab  – a Somali mother living in the Dadaab refugee camps – forced her 10-year old daughter to get circumcised. Two years later, the mother and her husband went against tradition and refused to allow their two younger daughters to undergo the controversial procedure. What changed? Zheinab received a Lifeline Energy solar and wind-up radio and was able to listen to radio programmes educating her on female genital mutilation (FGM) and its dangers. 
Zheinab now knows about the medical complications FGM often causes and that Islamic religious leaders do not encourage the practice. It was a bold decision by Zheinab and her husband, given that almost 78% of Somalis in the Dadaab refugee camps submit their daughters to circumcision and that most Somali men refuse to marry women who are uncircumcised.  
The young mother's story demonstrates the power and effective messaging of the radio programmess. It not only changed her thinking, but she was able to relay that information to her husband.
Our solar and wind-up Prime radios pick up radio broadcasts from the BBC’s Somali service and local Star FM on childcare, nutrition, health, FGM, in addition to news about events unfolding in Somalia and Kenya. Effective radio-based primary education lessons are also being broadcast in the Somali and Swahili  languages.
Radio remains the most popular source of information for refugees. A recent report by Internews indicates that more than 70% of new refugees lack any information on how to register for aid, locate missing family members, access health and shelter. The Dadaab camps receive roughly 1,300 new refugees daily - at least 800 of whom are children. The situation is critical. There are more than 450,000 mostly Somali refugees living in Dadaab with very limited access to crucial information.
Tomorrow take the opportunity to donate and reach even more women and girls. Once you’ve donated why not tell your friends about it? Share on Facebook and Twitter, adding the search hashtag #radios4Somaliwomen. Also, in a lucky draw Lifeline Energy will donate four Prime radios in the name of one donor, as well as featuring the person on our website!  
Let’s help inform, educate and provide a better future for Somali women and girls. 
Matching is between 12:01am and 11:59pm EDT (GMT-4). Please click on the following link and donate:
Thank you in advance for your support.
The Lifeline Energy Team

Lifeline Energy’s radio-lights are helping ease “one of the biggest gaps” in Japan’s post-disaster recovery – reliable access to information and services. This and other feedback concerning an immigrant listening community, were listed in Oxfam Japan’s latest progress report.

The progress report – written four months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan – indicates that Lifeline Energy’s radios are providing critical information on “assistance and protection”. The report - produced by our in-country partner, Oxfam Japan - states that our radios are providing information on people’s “rights, where they can get assistance, services and protection.” The radios are not only helping the local Japanese population, but are also aiding immigrants from the Philippines and Latin America. 

Lifeline Energy teamed up with GlobalGiving and Oxfam Japan soon after the tsunami hit Japan to provide more than 20,000 all-in-one wind-up and solar powered radio-lights, known as the Polaris. Since then, Japan has faced a near nuclear meltdown and, on a positive note, won the Women’s World Cup football.

However, full recovery is still years away.  According to the Oxfam Japan report, almost 100,000 people are still displaced – of whom more than 24,000 are living in evacuation centres. Also, roughly 40,000 households still lack access to electricity. The Polaris is not only providing information access but also has a built-in LED light.

The Filipino and Latin American communities have benefited greatly from our radio-lights. Twenty community radio stations in Tagalog and Spanish have been created specifically for this large populace. According to recent statistics, there are more than 300,000 Latin Americans – mainly from Brazil and Peru - while there are close to 200,000 Filipinos in Japan. Following the Chinese and Korean communities, Latin American and Filipinos are the third and fourth largest immigrant communities in Japan respectively. 

The Oxfam Japan report highlights the importance of addressing the needs of immigrant communities in Japan, saying that they are receiving little attention from other agencies working in the country.



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Organization Information

Lifeline Energy

Location: Cape Town, South Africa - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Kristine Pearson
London, United Kingdom

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