Your Voice at the Border: Improving access to information

CORAPE journalists at work

CORAPE journalists at work (Photo: GIZ/Oetzel)

The weekly radio programme “Your Voice at the border” by PRODEM, supported by GIZ and the Deutsche Welle Akademie, is broadcasted throughout the entire border region between Ecuador and Columbia and intends to improve the access to information of the displaced persons.

Colombian refugees living in the border provinces of Esmeraldas, Carchi, and Sucumbíos are often trapped in poor living conditions and face integration challenges. The ongoing peace process in Colombia is central to the measure as negotiations entailed first positive results: The government of Colombia has started a programme in order to speed up the resettlement of the displaced. Colombian refugees are thus entitled to restitution and the rightfully reclaim of their land they were driven off.  Due to the lack of information, however, most displaced persons are not aware of their rights and their opportunity to resettle in their home country.

The half-hour radio show has thus been established in January 2015 to provide people living on both sides of the border with information on the current situation in Columbia and the ongoing peace negotiations. Your Voice at the border is the product of a collaboration between the CORAPE (Ecuador), Comunicarte and Putumayo Radio Networks (Colombia) and  Journalists for Peace (Ecuador).  Being the primary source of information for the majority of the population, radio programmes are able to reach out to a wide range of individuals, granting access to concrete life experiences of refugees and giving a voice to the displaced. By making use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, young audience is addressed as well.

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