International broadcaster Trans World Radio (TWR) is using its network of FM stations in the Lamu and Garissa areas of Kenya to spread messages of peace and reconciliation in the wake of continuing violence in the region.
The danger faced by TWR Kenya staff was illustrated in June 2014 when staff at the local station in Lamu were affected by Al Shabaab attacks, in which loyal listeners and personal friends lost their lives, and station property and equipment was damaged and destroyed.
This was compounded when once more violence came, this time to Garissa — where TWR Kenya runs a local FM station — in the university massacre of 2 April.
Bernice Gatere, TWR Kenya executive director, said, ‘We have kept in touch with the team, and they are shaken, but well. Our deepest prayer is that the Lord would bring something good out of this tragedy. Watching the accounts of parents who lost their children because they were Christians is heart-breaking’.
As wave after wave of violence has hit Kenya, TWR has been broadcasting messages focusing on developmental and community issues. These were well received, to the extent that local leaders of another religion visited the station to thank the staff ‘for teaching good values to the youth’.
Of particular interest has been a broadcast which deals with the need for healing in the aftermath of emotional and physical trauma. TWR Kenya is looking to establish a satellite link that would enable these vital messages to be beamed into troubled areas without further endangering the lives of staff members.