New Somali community radio station Rajoradio to open in Small Heath in ‘hope of giving a voice’

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“We have been labelled for many years but now we want to empower our community to speak out

A new Somali radio station will be launching in Small Heath aiming to help the community raise their voice. The radio station plan to open their doors this Saturday.

‘Rajoradio’, which means Hope Radio in Somali, was founded Fathi Mohammed, a father from Stechford. With the aim of spreading awareness within 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 Somali media but after undergoing the struggles of finding information to support his young daughter who has epilepsy 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 go into taxi driving to focus on my family.

“But I had a passion for 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 stigmas attached issues like mental health and learning development delays within the Somali community – he said the radio station will help ‘give them a voice’.

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

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

One of the presenters and programme 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 give voice to these issues.

“We are trying to cover the things that are affecting our community because the need is quite big. We will be looking at parents awareness to autism, youth violence, education advice and helping with support for our Somali community as language is a difficulty.” she said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Faisa felt as new government guidance on the coronavirus was put in place many members of the Somali community did not understand them due to language barriers.

In addition to inviting members of the Somali community to the station and the radio station will also cover issue relating to the East African community living in Birmingham.

She said : “We want to reach out to the young, elderly and professionals within our community and want them to give back. For years our community has been labelled certain stereotypes and we want to empower our community to speak up and use their voice.”

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

They are currently looking for volunteers and presenters at the station. To show your interest or get more information email [email protected].com