As the turmoil escalates in Syria, a growing number of refugees are fleeing the nation in search of safety. Unfortunately, they comprise just a small segment of the millions around the world who are forced to live in refugee camps, whether temporarily or for decades. In these situations, it's all the more important--yet all the more challenging--for aid agencies to connect with these displaced communities quickly and effectively.
As a response to this need, media non-profit Internews has started a new project with Souktel in Dadaab, Kenya--the world’s largest refugee camp where more than 400,000 Somali refugees are now being housed. Partnering with local radio station Star FM, Internews has launched the Humanitarian Information Service; it empowers Dadaab residents who are journalists to produce broadcasts geared toward local needs--and it lets community members share their views on the broadcasts via SMS. Through hotlines that directly connect anyone with a mobile phone to workers at the Humanitarian Information Service, refugees will have a greater voice in determining what they hear on a daily basis.