Project I: Al Sa’aa Surria (the Syrian Hour) Radio Program: Promoting Freedom of Expression and Information for Syrian Refugees in Jordan
As several integrated assessment of Syrian refugees in host communities have revealed (e.g. OXFAM GB, UNHCR/UNICEF/WFP), Syrian refugees in host communities in Jordan lack of access to accurate, reliable information about refugees registration and services available. In addition to that, access to information is more difficult and challenging in host communities because refugees are dispersed and therefore harder to reach and mobilize.
Considering the high number of vulnerable Syrian women and youth in Jordan with limited access to information, and the lack of proper information dissemination about humanitarian services, UNESCO Office in Amman implements a project targeting the above mentioned groups in Irbid, Mafraq, Zarqa and Amman governorates by dissiminating life saving information about available services, and providing counceling through a radio programme on Yarmouk FM and Farah al Nas Radio. The project consists of three main activities:
- Broadcasting/On Air: giving voice to the Syrian refugee community in Jordan by providing an information sharing and communication platform through episodes specifically dedicated to them through a radio programme;
- Youth engagement: the involvement and active participation of Jordanian and Syrian youth, male and female, through training on basic citizen journalism skills and radio techniques, thus empowering youth with skills to properly express their voices in a journalistic style;
- Disseminating information and data mapping: the dissemination of reliable life-saving information on a timely fashion basis, broadcasting info about assistance and protection services available for Syrian refugees in Jordan whilst raising awareness on refugees’ rights.
The major objective of the project is to give voice to the Syrian refugee community in Jordan by providing an information and communication platform where they can freely access information, express their concerns and for those feeling helpless participate in relief operations. The program has an important role in delivering essential humanitarian information to help Syrian refugees in their daily lives, such as providing information on how to access basic services such as health and education. In addition, the radio show provides psychosocial support to the refugees as it is hosted by Syrians for Syrians.
The project was first launched in November 2012 within the Irbid and Mafraq area through funding from Sweden over a period of 3 months. However, as the project proved very much needed by humanitarian service providers as well as by the beneficiaries, UNFPA provided funding for a 3 months extension. During that period, UNESCO was able to get approval for a one year extension with a wider reach funded by the Government of Japan.