PeaceTech Lab, together with partners at Media Ink, is launching a multi-media program that will work to enable collaboration among youth, local government, and community radio stations to help build the capabilities of Somali youth in using technology to craft peace in Jubaland and Southwest states.  Youth in these regions are at heightened risk of radicalization by al-Shabaab and face daily challenges including unemployment and displacement.

The Lab will implement the peacebuilding and youth outreach program in three stages by drawing on its experience implementing similar programs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.

Currently in the first stage, PeaceTech Lab is working with Media Ink to produce a fifteen-episode radio drama in the Mai and Mahatiri dialects of the Somali language. Called Hirka Nabadda (Peace Frequency), the program will air on four local stations in Baidoa and Kismayo.

In the second stage of the project, PeaceTech Lab will create direct engagement with youth fans of the radio drama through a social media community and SMS platform customized for audience interaction. Youth “ambassadors” will be trained to lead the interaction with fans by contributing to online content and facilitating conversation via SMS.

The last phase of the project includes a PeaceTech Exchange workshop for 30 youth in Mogadishu. Youth will work with tech trainers to develop their technology capacities and ultimately lead tech-based peacebuilding projects in their own communities.

The project is funded by USAID/OTI through a grant from IOM.