The Radio Project
The project aimed to teach the children attending the AFCI Centre the fundamentals of broadcasting with a focus on creative exploration and play.
Teaching the fundamentals of radio broadcasting and production
Using radio as an educational tool and a means to broadcast alternative narratives of migration
Focusing on creativity and play as a means of psychological support
This project was initiated by and executed in partnership with Mawja Radio (formerly Radio Zaatari)
“Hello everyone, Radio Zaatari here, calling on a hot summer’s day in August. Stay tuned for all the latest developments here at Zaatari Village,” blared announcer, Sondose’s voice-over after the stations introductory jingle. Although crystal-clear in quality, the program was not being broadcast from a fancy studio in Amman, the capital of Jordan, but from a high-tech oasis, a radio studio in a desert region a few kilometres from the border between Jordan and Syria. Sondose and Salam, the other star of this local radio station had worked tirelessly the previous day researching the latest updates at Zaatari that should be included in their daily broadcast. “Temperature’s a bit high today, around 30 degrees so remember to drink plenty of water and stay in the shade”, Salam continued.
In the summers of 2018 and 2019, Zaatari Radio broadcasted a range of creative radio shows targeted at the war-weary refugees who had found shelter at the Zaatari Village. The children used radio programmes to express their thoughts and opinions on a wide range of topics. Even the few seconds they speak on air boosted their self confidence and feeling of self-worth, both of which had been shattered by their experiences as refugees.
Broadcasting to over 15,000 Syrian refugees located in Zaatari Village, the radio station also served as a creative platform, providing a space for musicians and creatives to meet and generate social connections. One day, the village was filled with melodic chimes of percussion instruments the children had recreated from simple recycled metal items. This led to a response from the children that they would love to sing some of their favourite songs to entertain their listeners.
Sondose and Salam had gradually during the course of their summer school built-up confidence on air. Before their radio classes, they had not cared to listen to the radio. “We also thought that the radio was just for news and music, but now we understand how important it can be and how we can use it here in Zaatari Village."