Zaatari Radio: Humanitarian Project
Zaatari Radio is an innovative humanitarian project empowering war-affected communities living in Zaatari, Jordan. In June 2018, we are creating a radio station that will provide the means for war-affected people to overcome the challenges they face as refugees in the region. Bringing together musicians, designers, academics, artists and activists, Zaatari Radio is creating a community of people to support a community of war-affected people in Jordan. During our first month in Jordan we will be working with a local aid agency in Zaatari Village providing radio based workshops for the attendees of their education centre. After this month, Zaatari Radio three project objectives: to broadcast Health Campaigns, to disseminate practical information such as services available to refugees, and to provide a community-hub for musicians living in the area.
If you have visited The Forum recently, you would have noticed the rather large Zaatari Radio mural on its side! That is because two of three Zaatari Radio team members are Tunbridge Wells based, and at some point have worked at The Forum. You may recognise Tom Critchley, who has been organising the project, working behind our bar. And Liam Evans, who takes care of the technical side of radio broadcast, is a current in-house sound technician. The project takes great pride in its foundations within Tunbridge Wells, and are working hard to extend their reach within the area.
The project was founded in response to top-down approaches to humanitarian aid that treat refugees as vulnerable and passive victims. Alternatively, Zaatari Radio is creating a participatory project that empowers refugees to navigate through challenging environments. They subscribe to a 'bottom-up' approach to refugee work whereby war affected people are at the forefront of this humanitarian response, creating a community around the radio to initiate innovative problem-solving amongst refugee populations through the medium of radio. Zaatari Radio will broadcast Health Campaigns, to share practical information such as services available to refugees, and provide a community-hub for musicians living in the area. Tom Crithchley notes the similarities between refugee radio and the sense of community he has witnessed in similar creative hubs such as The Forum: “growing up in Tunbridge Wells my time spent at The Forum was down to the community ethos that underpins its success. Finding it hard to connect with mundane Tunbridge Wells life, The Forum provided a network of like-minded people to enjoy the creativity that The Forum fosters, and this is a sentiment that has no-doubt inspired Zaatari Radio. Through creating a platform for refugee musicians, we aim to create a community and platform for war-affected artists living in Jordan.”
Zaatari Radio travel to Jordan in June, however at the moment are busy raising awareness for radio within refugee work, and money to fund the project. Their Kickstarter Campaign can be found here, and pledges to their campaign are exchanged for Zaatari Radio gifts! They can be found on various social media platforms found below, and we urge our fans to give them a follow and support a local Tunbridge Wells humanitarian project.