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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.