Young people and radio in Tunisia

International Alert’s latest Borders for all project has been using radio to increase community engagement in border security in the Kasserine region of Tunisia.

Kasserine, which borders with Algeria, played a prominent role in the Tunisian revolution, but continues to experience high levels of poverty and ongoing political and economic marginalisation. This has resulted in high levels of anger and frustration amongst inhabitants towards the Tunisian state.

Together with local partners, civil society and the Tunisian government, Alert has been supporting a number of initiatives in the region, including a monthly Border Security Forum (see picture above) which aims to enhance communication between security services and border communities.

Alert is also now working with an emerging local NGO, Huna AlGassrine, which uses youth-led radio broadcasting to reach a diverse range of citizens in Kasserine. The organisation sought to establish a community radio station, but it was lacking the technical, human and financial resources required. We have therefore provided it with a comprehensive package of equipment, training and radio production support to help set this up.

Through working alongside Huna AlGassrine, we aim to enrich the media landscape in this region and create opportunities for dialogue between the community and local security providers. This in turn will help strengthen the voice of citizens regarding their day-to-day concerns and needs, and help local people to work together to solve critical questions related to border security. In particular, we are working to make sure local youth are engaged in discussions with security providers.

As well as supporting the refurbishment of a studio space and purchasing key technical equipment, Alert has helped to train 30 aspiring journalists to supply them with the necessary skills and funding to produce a radio show, which discusses border security and the role of security providers such as the police and National Guard.

Training journalists to get to grips with the refurbished studio

An opening ceremony organised in late March highlighted the progress made by Huna AlGassrine with the cooperation of Alert and local authorities in Kasserine.

Watch our short video about the project here:

→ Read more about our Borders for all project

→ Find out about our work in Tunisia