A Syrian woman fleeing war needs Wi-Fi and a place to charge her phone to figure out the safest escape route. A Nepalese man needs to listen to the radio to stay safe during extreme weather. A family displaced by conflict in South Sudan needs to make satellite calls to find each other.
In all these cases, the ability to communicate, and to get updates on changing circumstances are as vital as food, water, shelter, and medical attention. Communication has to work both ways, with humanitarians listening to the population they are trying to help.
Bangladesh Refugee Crisis, November 2018
Cox’s Bazar is a coastal strip of land in between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Once known as a tourist attraction, it has become the largest refugee camp in the world, hosting approximately 909,000 people by February 2019, according to UNHCR. Most are Rohingya, a Muslim minority group fleeing Myanmar, and 73% are illiterate in any language.
Vital information about basic services like food, health and WASH activities is now reaching 90% of the settlements in the camp through Radio Naf, a community radio station set up by S4C partners. In addition to programming about health and other essential services, there are news programs, special programming for children, and time set aside for questions from the community.
Radio Naf is just one of the services offered, along with multimedia projectors, sound systems, petrol and solar power, as well as 3G mobile Internet connectivity covering 29 information hubs across the area.