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Refugee Radio Network Springs From Grassroots Movement


We're glad you're with us on your public radio station this morning. And now we take a moment to tune in to a different radio network.


LARRY MACAULAY: This is a free hour on your radio. Refugee Radio Network, love freedom, love life.

GREENE: Just to be clear, this is not a broadcast from the suddenly famous Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives. It is instead a broadcast from Germany, where the Refugee Radio Network was founded by Larry Macaulay.


MACAULAY: Hello, (speaking German).


That's his on-are call sign, El Capitan. His journey began four years ago in Libya, we're told. War drove him to Italy and then to Germany. And he wanted refugees to be able to speak for themselves.

MACAULAY: So we decided to have a platform. We are a grassroot radio station. We are refugees ourselves, and we engage with refugees directly with real stories, uncensored stories.

GREENE: The volunteers who run Refugee Radio have produced stories from France and from Italy. Refugees send in audio files from all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

INSKEEP: Larry, El Capitan, says he's speaking to two groups here, Germans and the refugees who are their new neighbors.

MACAULAY: All the stories stand out, but the one that really struck me was when we brought in a Syrian refugee, and he spoke about his experience in Syria.

INSKEEP: The young man is named Moaz. Recently, listeners to "Refugee Voices," the program on Refugee Radio that El Capitan hosts, heard Moaz remember being arrested years ago in Syria as his father looked on.


MOAZ: It was really hard because, like, when you see your father crying, you make everything cry. And you cry from your heart before your eyes are crying. It was really, like...

MACAULAY: OK, Moaz, take a breath. It's not easy, you know?

That really touched my heart a lot. I mean, this was a young kid that has gone through hell. We've all gone through hell, and we're still here. and we continue to remain strong.

GREENE: Larry Macaulay. His show, "Refugee Voices," airs weekly in Hamburg, Berlin and Munich and beyond Germany online.


MACAULAY: Stay tuned. Don't touch the dial.

INSKEEP: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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