Today we present a special show: It is the first time we broadcast from lesbos, the Paréa Community Center.
To know the place: the Paréa Community Center exists now for several years. Originally it was founded as „One Happy Family – Community Center„. It is run and selforganized by civil society. It provides help and hope for people who are refugees, who had to leave their countries because of violence, war, ecological threats, social, cultural and political discremination and exclusion.
As you know Lesbos has a tragic history. On the 9th of September 2020 the first Moria camp burnt down. More than 20.000 thousand people were squeezed at a camp, that had a capacity for only about 2000 to 3000.
Now there is a new camp. During the Corona pandemic, for two years, the refuges inside the camp were only allowed to leave for once a week and only for three hours.
Over all the living conditions only could be described as a humanitarian scandal.
Not only the poor infrastructure: people are still living in tents, some for years now. without pricacy. exposed to the heat, the cold, the wet and windy conditions.
On a hillsite, above this refugee camp, the Paréa Community Center is located. it represents a different version, how people seeking for refuge can be treated in a humanitarian way.
The Paréa Community Center is a selforganised space, offering legal support by lawyers, psychological help for traumatized, education and language learning and much more, like gardening, sports, music, arts and media productions – it is a place for recovery, hope and taking action.
Radio Helsinki and Doro Blancke Refuge Assistance are starting a radio project. To „leave no one behind“, we put this motivation in first place: that people can speak out, in their own voices. as there any many untold stories, not only of trauma, violence or sufferings, but also voices of hope, resilience and solutions.
We want to get connected to the people: Let them speak. Tell stories. Adress issues and overcome prejudices. We want to start with a team in Graz and a team at Lesbos. This will be our initial exchange of us, global citizens.
On the 29th of May the team Graz and the team Lesbos aired the first show and met each other for the first time.
In the Radio Helsinki studio in Graz: Peninah, Saif, Habib and Gernot
At Pareá Community Center, Lesbos: Aziz, Mo, Yasin, Omid, Ipek, ioha and Walt.
Hosts of the show are Saif and Aziz.
To the project:
We start Season III of Snapshots from the Borders. We got a new funding and support by the „Action for Sustainable Future hub„. Organized by the Ludwig Boltzmann Society and the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Till the end of 2023 we want to build a team at Lesbos and in Graz for more collaboration and information about the complex question of refuges and asylum. based on the experiences of the people, of global citizens.
We use radio as a „social place of encounter“: through radio, people can people can enter into dialogue with each other, listen attentively, ask questions, experience themselves differently, overcome resentments, network and reach an interested public audience.
Over the years, community radios have accumulated experience in addressing, organizing and involving people with diverse needs. Across all age groups, origins (social, cultural, or geographic), interests, or personal dispositions.