Internews Europe is reinforcing the capacities of community radio stations in the most Western region of Côte d'Ivoire – the part of the country most affected by the crisis in 2011. The project enables local media to promote reconciliation and social cohesion through accurate, un-biased journalism that will build long-term resilience against conflict inside communities in the prefectures of Moyen Cavally and 18 Montagnes.
Radio for Social Cohesion in the West of Côte d'Ivoire, funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department, develops community access to information through the establishment and strengthening of six community radio stations across the region. The project targets the border areas that remained the most conflict-prone and lacked the most information. It aims to support long-term reconciliation between different ethnic groups, as well as address the lack of information that contributes on a daily basis to fuelling the conflict.
The project specifically targets Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugees. Radio listening groups were formed, local mediators trained, a coordination centre for the community radio stations set up and a resident trainer was hired to lead the project in country. This project is particularly unique because it offers citizens a solution to the situation in Western Côte d'Ivoire through focusing on those communities most affected by the conflict, developing relationships within civil society and connecting local media with the population. This approach has shown its impact and ability to contribute to conflict mitigation in other Internews' projects in Kyrgyzstan and Rwanda. Internews has established close ties with the working group on social cohesion in Western Côte d'Ivoire that includs various organizations who are involved in projects focusing on social cohesion, strengthening civil society and rural land. This project reinforced Internews' project "Antenna for Peace: improve the reliability and credibility of the communities in Côte d'Ivoire."