FREIRAD is a Free Radio with Open Access. We invite as many people as possible to bring their themes and content on air themselves. This appeal is directed particularly at individuals and groups that are largely ignored by established media. In this way we aim to counteract social marginalization. We currently have over 100 broadcasts that are sent regularly. 47 of these are in German and another language or only in another language. In total, there are currently 16 different languages represented at FREIRAD. Many programs are already being designed by volunteers with a migration and / or refugee background. FREIRAD sees the designing and conceiving of a radio show as a means of getting involved in a society, to make oneself heard and to participate in it. Since our system of broadcasting evolves around volunteers with lots of different backgrounds, we see FREIRAD as a best practice for successfully involving the potential of TCN into our local community.
As a pilot action for the VAI-project, FREIRAD decided to focus on establishing volunteering opportunities for one particular marginalized group – women* with and without migrant background. One of the specific objectives of the VAI-project is to put a special focus on women, young migrants and asylum seekers to ensure that they are aware of the benefits of volunteering and the choices available, offering appropriate opportunities and enabling them to overcome issues such as social exclusion. Apart from this, men take up a higher percentage as volunteers at the community radio than women. Therefore FREIRAD chose to especially focus on this group for the pilot action.
When: 20.6. – 21.6.2019 (2 Days)
Where: Freies Radio Innsbruck, Egger-Lienz-Straße 20, 6020 Innsbruck
What: The “Stories of Women-Workshop” aimed at reflecting and developing an empowering way to make the own story and voice heard. Together as a group, an atmosphere was created that was comfortable to all participants, where everybody was invited to tell, but nobody was forced to speak. The participants learned how to use audio as a tool and how to create their own radio show as a volunteer for community media while interacting and reflecting with a diverse group of people.
Who: 4 women* with diverse backgrounds (refugee, migrant and Austrian national)
Why and How:
- Learn how to structure a powerful story and learn how to be heard.
- Practice active listening skills and peer-coach others in sharing their stories.
- Gain confidence presenting your story to an audience.
- Connect deeply with others through their stories.
- Find similarities instead of differences within the group.
- Co-create a 1 hour radio show and learn how to use radio/audio as a tool.
- Learn about how to create your own radio show as a volunteer for community media.
- Interact with a diverse group of people.
Purpose: Establishing new volunteering opportunities for women* with and without migrant background and giving them the tools to create their own radio show as a volunteer for community radio.
Listen to the radio show!
Conclusion and Results of the Pilot Action
Throughout the time span of the VAI-project, FREIRAD puts its focus on the matter of how the already existing volunteers can be more included in the whole work of FREIRAD as an association itself and how we can also directly approach communities that are not represented yet in order to gain them as volunteer broadcasters at the radio station. The Pilot Action helped us set our focus on how to directly target specific marginalized groups such as women with refugee-/migrant-experience, learn about their needs and how to approach them. Since its implementation in 2002, one of FREIRADs main objectives was to give space and voice to those who are rarely represented in mainstream media. Our program consists of a very diverse pool of broadcasters with a variety of languages spoken on air. Still not all local communities are represented on air. Through the VAI-project FREIRAD started to set actions on directly targeting groups, communities or languages that are not part of our association yet in order to constantly work on a broader spectrum of our program.
Apart from the Pilot Action with focus on women* with and without refugee-/migrant-experience, we set our focus also on the local Roma community. We are currently discussing with members of the community the idea of a radio show produced directly at the ‘Waldhüttl’, which is a community center for people in need where some of the local Roma community lives. The idea was created to make it as accessible as possible for people to bring their content on air themselves because we realized that the mobility can be a factor that makes it more difficult for people to do their own shows.
The mentioned examples on how FREIRAD is taking action in involving volunteers with refugee-/migrant-experience are exemplary for a constant process that will continue even after the end of the VAI-project. We are aware of the potential and input of TCN’s and will continuously work on acting as a best practice example for volunteering among immigrants.