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Refugees in Cameroon use the power of media to highlight their plights

Emmanuel Ambei, a Chadian refugee in the Cirtef studios in Yaoundé, Cameroon.   -  
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Photo captured from Africanews video.


Emmanuel Ambei, a Chadian refugee, and his classmate Coradie Mabelle arrive at the Cirtef studios in Yaoundé. Igor, another student is already in the radio studio for the recording of a program.

These are young refugees living in Yaoundé and running their Megaphone project. After securing a small grant from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), they committed themselves to run a radio program that would talk about the plights of refugees.

First was that of Central African refugees in Cameroon.

The refugee students decided to go to all the areas in Cameroon where refugees live, like in Garoua Boulaï. After collecting information on the field, they come back to the studio to file reports on the lives of refugees to the general public.

While the project focuses on the radio program, a second component involves training these young refugees in the field of journalism and communication by the International Council of French-speaking Radio and Television (CIRTEF) professionals.

"Our objectives are to be able to make the refugee speak, to make him known to others and to the world. Because we are the best placed as refugees to talk to our brothers and compatriots’ refugees. We would like the refugee not to be the one who feels neglected, we expect the refugee to be the one who lives his daily life 100% as a Cameroonian", said Emmanuel Ambei, a refugee student.

The project is undertaken by refugee students from several countries such as Chad, Central African Republic, and the UNHCR is providing support.

"We deeply believe that the best people to talk about the issue of refugees are the refugees themselves. And so we were very happy to see that there were groups of very motivated young people who wanted to train in communication and journalism because they wanted to talk about their own community’’, said Xavier Bourgois, Spokesperson for UNHCR Cameroon.

The recorded programs will be broadcast on the national radio and several other media outlets on June 20. They hope to set up a radio station that will focus on the lives of refugees in Cameroon.

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