Camp Information Line and Aror Hota were two audio programmes produced by Fondation Hirondelle from 2018 to 2021 near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, for the Rohingya refugee population and surrounding communities. Camp Information Line was produced by a team of refugees under the supervision of Fondation Hirondelle editors. The programme offered information on camp life and awareness messages. Aror Hota was produced by members of the surrounding Bangladeshi community and offered information to improve their food security, livelihoods, knowledge of health and rights. Podcasts and programmes on social cohesion between host communities and refugees, as well as on health and the environment, were also produced. These programmes were broadcast via a network of loudspeakers in the refugee camps and in the host community, as well as shared online and broadcast on local radio stations.
216 411 CHF
Sources of Funding
• Switzerland (SDC mandate)
• Switzerland (SDC Programme contribution)
• Chaîne du Bonheur
IMPROVING THE LIVES OF REFUGEES THROUGH INFORMATION
In 2021, Fondation Hirondelle and our partner HEKS/EPER continued their work with refugee and Bangladeshi producers to produce Camp Information Line and Aror Hota. The project concluded mid-year after more than four years of activity. In situ production and broadcasting continued to be affected by the Covid-19 crisis, but our programmes reached between 8,000 and 13,000 people each week in the camps. In the host community, programmes reached 2,200 to 3,000 people per week through listening groups. We also continued to broadcast via Bangladesh Betar FM, which helped expand the audience in the host community. In 2021, our teams were able to produce 10 programmes on social cohesion. While not all were broadcast in the camps due to Covid restrictions, they were shared online for wider listening.
An independent impact study was conducted in 2021. It found that the share of refugees surveyed who felt they had enough information to improve their lives in the camp increased from 21.6% to 65%. 88% of the refugees surveyed also felt that their voice was heard by service providers, compared with 58.8% at the beginning of the project. In the host community, 44.5% of respondents said they have the information they need to improve their lives and livelihoods, compared with 28.4% before the project. In terms of social cohesion, 60% of host community members surveyed said that our programmes had improved their tolerance of the refugee community, and 55% of refugees indicated that the programmes helped improve relations with the host community.
An independent audit also found that the project had achieved its objectives, playing a significant role in a complex situation where refugees lacked access to vital information. The audit also showed that the capacity of local staff and volunteers had been strengthened. Our partner in Bangladesh, HEKS/EPER, intends to continue producing and disseminating content, since its teams, including a group of well-trained refugee producers, now have the experience and capacity to do so.