Internet Radio Station Helps Ukrainian Refugees Adapt in Prague

A brand new Prague-based web radio station has began to broadcast information, data and music tailor-made to the day-to-day issues of some 300,000 refugees who’ve arrived in the Czech Republic since Russia launched its army assault towards Ukraine.

In a studio on the coronary heart of the Czech capital, radio veterans work along with absolute inexperienced persons to supply the refugees with what they should know to settle as easily as potential in a brand new nation.

The employees of 10 combines individuals who have fled Ukraine in latest weeks with those that have been residing overseas for years. Irrespective of who they’re, their widespread 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 develop into the broadcaster’s editor-in-chief.

“It was for my people, for people who really needed help, who really needed support, something that would help them start a new live or restart their lives here after they have lived through very bad things trying to escape from Ukraine,” Churikova mentioned.

Staffer Sofia Tatomyr is a type of who left to flee the struggle. 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 war has just begun.”

Her dad and mom and older brother opted to remain residence, however they wished her to hitch her aunt in Prague.

“It happened all of a sudden,” she mentioned. She boarded a bus alone in Cherniutsi and arrived 28 hours later in the Czech capital, a metropolis she’d by no means visited.

“When I was already abroad, I remember the moment that I was crying and I was trying to buy a ticket and I couldn’t spell what ticket I need. It was really difficult,” 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 “some time to understand that not everybody can be at the frontline at the war and everybody has to do what he or she can do the best.”

“So this is how I’m cheering myself up that I’m doing my profession, that I’m doing what I can do the best, and this is the best way I can help our people, I can help Ukraine. This is how I’m thinking about it,“ she said.

Safe in Prague, she was still trying to come to terms with the invasion of her homeland.

“It’s horrible,” she mentioned. “I can’t still find any logical explanation for what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. In the 21st century, a war? Why? We were a peaceful nation living just our lives.”

One other announcer, Marharyta Golobrodska, was working as a copywriter for a software program firm when she obtained a name from Churikova, whom she knew from an internship at Radio Free Europe.

“I used to consider those who get up early to be ready to work from 6am crazy, but that’s what I do now and I thoroughly enjoy it,” Golobrodska mentioned. “That’s what I always wanted to do, to be helpful for my country, even though I live so far away.”

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 data for refugees each quarter-hour. It contains particulars about the place they will get the paperwork they want from native authorities, the best way to get a job or medical remedy, or the best way to discover a place for youngsters at faculties. Youngsters can hearken to Ukrainian fairy tales.

A local of the southern metropolis of Mykolaiv, Golobrodska has lived in 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 example, told me she’d like to hear what she’s not supposed to do here. For example, that she can’t park the car anywhere she wants to like in Ukraine,” she mentioned.

Bohemia Media, which operates a number of radio stations in the Czech Republic, got here up with the concept to launch the station. It offered a studio and its folks 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 potential about its existence.

One in every of them is Sophia Medvedeva. The 23-year previous internet designer could not maintain again tears as she talked in regards to the latest 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’m so amazed about the chance to listen to Ukrainian music when I’m not in my homeland. I feel that I’m not alone,” she mentioned. Her solely advice for it’s to ask a psychologist to “advise the Ukrainian refugees about how to fight the survivor syndrome and how to fight depression.”

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