Ben Prchal, Program Coordinator for St. Cloud Somali Radio said, “KVSC’s mission as a radio station has been about taking ideas, music, and information that doesn’t normally get out into the community and bringing [it] out.” He said it’s important to bring out voices that the community doesn’t normally hear.
St. Cloud Somali Radio aims to serve as the cultural and heritage hub of Somali music and feature programming. There are approximately 8,000 Somali immigrants living in St. Cloud and surrounding communities.
Prchal said, “There’s no other source of media that serves this community, which is growing in a significant portion of the St. Cloud population.”
Haji Yusuf, a Somali selected as the Project Developer for Somali Radio, said, “We want to reach out to the world. We want this to be a premier radio station through which Somali stories are heard here and across the world.”
But Yusuf said the goal is not only to share Somalis’ stories, but also to help them assimilate in a place that is not their home.
Yusuf said, “Somalis are not here by choice. Many came as refugees after the Somali civil war.”
Yusuf hopes to include a little bit of everything in the programming, including information about healthcare, politics, and youth programming.
He said, “They are American citizens now. It is important that they are educated about politics, social issues, economics, and other issues of the United States.”
Because Somali Radio is broadcast online, Yusuf said, “It can be all over the world, and we want to tell the world about the Somalis and their successes in North America. We tell the world that we are here and we are surviving. It’s very important that those stories be told.”
Prchal said KVSC is looking for volunteers who want to help bring Somali Radio to the next level. ”We’ve officially launched the station, the content is out there, and now we want more people to get involved to start producing more content.”
St. Cloud Somali Radio programming is accessible at www.kvsc.org/somaliradio. Prchal asks that people interested in volunteering visit this website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Natalie Davis