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During the recording of a Studio Yafa program in an IDP camp in Burkina Faso. ©Olympia de Maismont / Fondation Hirondelle. During the recording of a Studio Yafa program in an IDP camp in Burkina Faso.

Faso Yafa, a humanitarian radio program for displaced persons in Burkina Faso

In the context of an increase in internally displaced persons in Burkina Faso, the Faso Yafa radio program is an information tool for the population, but also for humanitarian actors.

Launched in October 2021 by Fondation Hirondelle’s team in Burkina Faso and in partnership with several local radio stations, the Faso Yafa project is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), through its humanitarian fund. Its objective is to contribute to improved humanitarian assistance, through better access to information, in order to save lives and restore dignity to affected communities.

The project draws on the skills and experience of the editorial staff of Studio Yafa, the information and dialogue program created by Fondation Hirondelle in Burkina Faso. Faso Yafa, ("peace in Burkina Faso" in Mooré), aims to disseminate reliable and useful information for displaced persons, who numbered more than one and a half million by the end of 2021. It aims to give them a voice so that their needs are better understood, stigmatization is reduced, and social cohesion is strengthened. It also seeks to foster dialogue between newly arrived populations and host communities.

To this end, a weekly, 30-minute program is produced by the editorial staff of Studio Yafa.  It is composed of short reports, practical information, including on health and psychology, and interviews to share experiences and individual initiatives. This is rounded out with entertaining content: radio skits, storytelling and music. Special attention is given to the concerns of women and youth. These programs are then broadcast throughout the territory through 36 radio partners and are available in 4 languages (Mòoré, Fula, Gourmanché and French).

In order to provide information that is rooted in the reality of the population, 55 displaced persons, including 45 young women, have been integrated into the project as correspondents. They conduct interviews in different regions of the country in order to provide information for program to the editorial team of Studio Yafa. Studio Yafa relies on this strength and also aims to strengthen the capacities of these participants, including through trainings.

Particular attention has also been paid to how the programme is received by target audiences. Through a network of "focal points", the programs are broadcast publicly in listening groups, which also allows for the team to collect feedback on the programme as well as to better understand the interests and concerns of listeners. This is a way to listen to and better address the humanitarian needs of the populations.


Group listening session in Djibo

The end of the first phase of the project is scheduled for the end of March 2022, and its second phase is already in preparation. In the long term, through the involvement of Studio Yafa journalists, the goal is to strengthen the capacities of all participants, notably through offering a collective experience in humanitarian journalism.