Background

Afroradio.Net - Ireland's Premier Diversity Community Media project (2009 - 2013)

In the early years of the 21st century, Ireland experienced a phenomena influx of immigrants than ever known before. Although a truly welcoming and accommodating environment, there was no such precedence to draw from in dealing with the nature of multiculturalism that the country was rapidly becoming. Fast forward to 2007/8 when the surge of recession was just brewing, there started arising a general perception of immigrants as scroungers of the economy even with highly skilled immigrants purportedly contributing meaningfully to the economy. There have been cases of nurses, doctors and taxi drivers of non-Irish origins being openly targeted for hateful attacks and intimidation. Members of the immigrant communities were responding with hostility and lackadaisical approaches to inclusiveness and communal efforts. Migrant youths appeared to lack a sense of purpose and direction.

 

The Birth of Afroradio

Considering the above scenario, Chris Adetunji, the Project coordinator, says: "There was need for cross cultural communication. Communication promotes understanding. Understanding prevents hostility. As a community of people, we need to be comfortable in communicating and understanding our preferences despite our differences. We urgently needed a platform for dialogue in diversity before the situation in Ireland escalated to crisis level". Historically, the radio has played a significant role in cementing communities together. However, the mainstream local radios appeared uninterested in considering serving as such platform for dialogue in diversity, especially as it would have little or no commercial values to them. We just must find an alternative! Afroradio was borne out of a desire to find or create this platform. The aim was to promote cultural integration and mutual understanding between the host Irish communities and the immigrant communities.

 

Some Success Stories

An Outstanding Community Service Award (2010) of the Edmund Rice International Heritage Centre.

Over 4000 unique listeners and 2 million Web hits within the first 12 months of inception, as featured on Irish National Television (RTE 1).

Successful implementation of a number of State-funded community development and cultural integration initiatives.

A State-of-the-Art Broadcast Studio where interviews and discussions are held.

Birthed Compass Radio, part funded by the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) and Enterprise Boards.

Featured guests ranged from national politicians to Diplomats from Embassies.