A brand new Prague-based web radio station has began to broadcast information, info and music tailor-made to the day-to-day issues of some 300,000 refugees who’ve arrived within the Czech Republic since Russia launched its army assault in opposition to Ukraine.
In a studio on the coronary heart of the Czech capital, radio veterans work along with absolute newcomers to offer the refugees with what they should know to settle as easily as doable in a brand new nation.
The workers of 10 combines individuals who have fled Ukraine in current weeks with those that have been dwelling overseas for years. Irrespective of who they’re, their frequent aim is to assist fellow Ukrainians and their homeland dealing with the brutal Russian invasion.
Natalia Churikova, an skilled journalist with Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty mentioned she could not say no to a suggestion to change into the broadcaster’s editor-in-chief.
“It was for my individuals, for individuals who actually wanted assist, who actually wanted help, one thing that might assist them begin a brand new reside or restart their lives right here after they’ve lived by means of very dangerous issues making an attempt to flee from Ukraine,” Churikova mentioned.
Staffer Sofia Tatomyr is a kind of who left to flee the battle. The 22-year-old from the western city of Kalush was planning to maneuver to a different metropolis in Ukraine when a good friend referred to as one morning: “Sofia, the battle has simply begun.”
Her mother and father and older brother opted to remain dwelling, however they wished her to affix her aunt in Prague.
“It occurred unexpectedly,” she mentioned. She boarded a bus alone in Cherniutsi and arrived 28 hours later within the Czech capital, a metropolis she’d by no means visited.
“After I was already overseas, I bear in mind the second that I used to be crying and I used to be making an attempt to purchase a ticket and I could not spell what ticket I would like. It was actually tough,” she mentioned.
Tatomyr labored as graphic designer and singer in Ukraine after getting a level as a writer and media editor. Radio broadcasting was a part of her programs on the college. To her shock, her aunt’s brother discovered an announcement about jobs for a brand new Ukrainian radio station.
She mentioned she wanted “a while to grasp that not all people will be on the frontline on the battle and all people has to do what she or he can do the very best.”
“So that is how I am cheering myself up that I am doing my career, that I am doing what I can do the very best, and that is one of the best ways I will help our individuals, I will help Ukraine. That is how I am serious about it,“ she mentioned.
Secure in Prague, she was nonetheless making an attempt to come back to phrases with the invasion of her homeland.
“It is horrible,” she mentioned. “I am unable to nonetheless discover any logical rationalization for what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Within the twenty first century, a battle? Why? We have been a peaceable nation dwelling simply our lives.”
One other announcer, Marharyta Golobrodska, was working as a copywriter for a software program firm when she acquired a name from Churikova, whom she knew from an internship at Radio Free Europe.
“I used to contemplate those that stand up early to be able to work from 6am loopy, however that is what I do now and I completely get pleasure from it,” Golobrodska mentioned. “That is what I all the time wished to do, to be useful for my nation, despite the fact that I reside so distant.”
For 12 hours every weekday — and 11 hours on weekends — Radio Ukraine performs Ukrainian and western music whereas presenting information of Ukraine and the Czech Republic along with info for refugees each quarter-hour. It contains particulars about the place they’ll get the paperwork they want from native authorities, how one can get a job or medical remedy, or how one can discover a place for kids at faculties. Kids can hearken to Ukrainian fairy tales.
A local of the southern metropolis of Mykolaiv, Golobrodska has lived within the Czech Republic for eight-and-a-half years. After the invasion, she travelled to western Ukraine to satisfy her mom and 9-year-old sister and drive them to security. In Prague, she bought them concerned in her broadcast.
“My mum, for instance, informed me she’d like to listen to what she’s not presupposed to do right here. For instance, that she will be able to’t park the automobile wherever she desires to love in Ukraine,” she mentioned.
Bohemia Media, which operates a number of radio stations within the Czech Republic, got here up with the concept to launch the station. It supplied a studio and its individuals cooperated with the Ukrainian embassy, the native Ukrainian neighborhood and others to make it actuality in three weeks. It additionally covers the salaries.
Lukas Nadvornik, the proprietor of the Mediapark, an organization that represents Bohemia Media, mentioned the plan is for the station to stay on air so long as it is wanted. The important thing job for now could be to let know as many potential listeners as doable about its existence.
One in every of them is Sophia Medvedeva. The 23-year outdated internet designer could not maintain again tears as she talked in regards to the current six-day drive together with her mom and youthful brother from Mykolaiv to Krakow, Poland.
However in Prague, she joined her fiancé and Radio Ukraine helped her adapt to a brand new life. “I am so amazed in regards to the probability to hearken to Ukrainian music after I’m not in my homeland. I really feel that I am not alone,” she mentioned. Her solely advice for it’s to ask a psychologist to “advise the Ukrainian refugees about how one can battle the survivor syndrome and how one can battle melancholy.”