REF FM Kakuma & Kalobeyei

Welcome to REF-FM KK! We are a community based radio station on 88.4 MHz in the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement, within the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Turkana County in the northwestern part of Kenya. Our dedicated crew consists of talented members of both the refugee and host community. We aims to give refugees a voice and a sense of community in a camp society of over 200.000 refugees from 20 different nationalities, and we aim to inspire our listeners by speaking on and advocating for their issues. 

Left to Right: Buoth Manyang, Ivy Sipo, Sabina Stella and Emmanuel Misalker

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Your Story, Our Voice

REF FM KK has around ten crew members who are constantly learning and improving their radio skills, producing its own radio programs that speak directly to the communities in their own voice. The station was set up in 2020 by REF FM Foundation Netherlands and Action Africa Help International (AAH-I). In 2022 FilmAid Kenya replaced AAH-I as the active local partner. 

Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in North-western Kenya is meant for refugees and host communities (Turkana, one of the most marginalised people in Kenya) to give them better livelihood opportunities. Kalobeyei has around 40.000 residents (mainly from South Sudan) and was established in 2015 to relieve the much older Refugee Camp Kakuma next door and to pilot a new approach: no longer treating refugees as beggars who held up their hands for accommodation, food, drinks and schooling, but as active economic participants in society who use these same hands to make a living. 

Kakuma Refugee Camp in North-western Kenya was established in 1992 following the arrival of 'Lost Boys of Sudan', displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese War (1987–2005). About 2 million were killed, and others were severely affected. Kakuma ("nowhere" in the Swahili language) refugee camp currently has over 150,000 residents in an area designed for just 70,000. Mainly from South Sudan and Somalia. Living inside the camp is equally prison and exile. The average daytime temperature is 40 degrees. The camp is a "small city" of thatched roof huts, tents, and mud abodes.  

Other members of the REF-FM family

BidibidiFM Uganda. Live from Bidibidi, the biggest refugee settlement of Uganda and once the biggest in the world. Cooperation of DW Akadamie, StraightTalk Foundation and REF FM.

REF-FM Ukerewe Tanzania.  On the island of Ukerewe in Tanzania. The station is run by people with albinism and other inhabitants of the island. It aims to give them a voice and a sense of community, and to encourage the acceptance of people with albinism.

REF-FM Kyangwali Uganda. Kyangwali is one of the bigger refugee settlements in Uganda. The station is run by and for refugees and host communities, with the aim to help inspire them to become active and self-reliant members of their communities.