New Somali community radio station Rajoradio to open in Small Heath in ‘hope to give voice’

A new Somali radio station will be launched in Small Heath with the aim of helping the community make its voice heard. The radio station plans to open its doors this Saturday.

“Rajoradio”, which means Hope Radio in Somali, was founded by Fathi Mohammed, a father from Stechford. In an effort to raise awareness in the Somali and East African community, Fathi felt inspired to launch a platform giving voice to their issues.

Before becoming a taxi driver, Fathi was a journalist working in the Somali media, but after struggling to find information to support his young daughter who has epilepsy, he decided to settle down.

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He told BirminghamLive: “I have a young daughter who has epilepsy which was a struggle so I decided to settle down and drive a cab to focus on my family.

“But I had a passion for the media and studied for two years at university – I wanted to help people like me who struggle to find information from the NHS or local authorities.”

Fathi opened up about the stigma attached to issues such as mental health and learning developmental delays within the Somali community – he said the radio station would help them ‘give them a voice’ .

“Personally, as a parent, we have really struggled to find the information to support our children because within our Somali community we don’t often talk about your child having learning developmental delays – we so we have to talk about it now,” he said.

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Rajoradio’s programs will be broadcast 95% in Somali language on all social media platforms like Facebook and Youtube – they will cover a range of topics from parent awareness to education, youth violence and health mental.

One of the presenters and program manager, Faisa Shahib, told BirminghamLive: “Sometimes parents don’t even know their rights when it comes to the education system, so this will be a way to get those issues heard.

“We are trying to cover things that affect our community because the need is quite great. We will be looking to raise awareness among parents about autism, youth violence, give parenting advice and help our Somali community because the language is a difficulty.” she says.

At the start of the pandemic, Faisa felt that as new government guidelines on coronavirus were put in place, many in the Somali community did not understand them due to language barriers.

As well as inviting members of the Somali community to the station, the radio station will also cover issues relating to the East African community living in Birmingham.

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She said: “We want to reach out to young people, old people and professionals in our community and we want them to give back. For years our community has been labeled with certain stereotypes and we want to give back to our community the means to express themselves and use their voice.”

The radio will be launched on March 12 at Dream Chaser Youth Club at Small Heath.

They are currently looking for volunteers and animators at the station. To express your interest or obtain more information, send an e-mail [email protected]

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