Happy Birthday Syban!

Radio programme Syban turned ten years old this month, with production teams, listeners and project partners celebrating the anniversary of a show that's broadcast life-giving media to listeners for a decade. 

Meaning "shelter" in Urdu, Syban is a weekly FM radio programme that addresses the needs of the local community, such as health, education, gender equality and unemployment.  The live hour-long shows are well received and actively engage with listeners, with hundreds of texts coming in during the broadcasts.  

Syban is playing a vital role and acts as a change agent among the people of Muzaffarabad.  It is changing the thinking of people in a dramatic way  

Syban Listener, 2015

Interviewee on radio SybanListener feedback continues to be very encouraging, often praising the programme's educational content and use of reputable speakers to discuss important social issues.  Doctors are a regular presence on the programme to answer listener health questions, and the programme was even able to help when a critically-ill woman was in need of blood.  An on air appeal to listeners brought several offers of help within an hour.

Beginnings in Emergency Response Radio  

Syban began life after one of South Asia's worst natural disasters struck Pakistan.  Centred near the city of Muzaffarabad, the Kasmir earthquake of 2005 killed over 85,000 people, injured 138,000 and left 3.5 million homeless, [EERI Special Earthquake Report].  With lives, infrastructure and communications devastated, Syban started broadcasting to disaster affected communities using radio as an emergency response.  Delivering critical communications and relevant community programmes, the producers got a feel for how radio can be a life-line to people in need.  The ethos and outlook of the transmissions stem from Matthew 5:16

let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father

Matthew 5:16 New Living Translation

Linking with churches and Christians across Pakistan

Regulations make it impossible for a religious organisation to own a radio station, however the team has not let this get in the way of expanding the reach of their broadcasts.  Enabling churches and Christian service providers to develop their own community-centred radio has been a core aim of the team.  Training is provided to empower people to produce their own radio programmes and links are made with local FM radio stations to air the material.  This training makes a contribution to social capital in Pakistan and builds on the strengths of local service providers to amplify their voice and address the wider needs of the community.  The programme's aim is clear:

We want to see Muzaffarabad a better place to live

Radio Sybans 10th Anniversary cakeRadio Syban aim

With a decade of broadcasts already under their belt, Feba UK wishes Syban a very happy anniversary.  

Here's to another 10 years of using media to address important community issues in Pakistan.  We hope the programme continues to go strength to strength, being an asset to the communities it serves.  

To support our partners in prayer see our online diary or make a donation to the life-giving media that is produced across Africa, Asia and the Middle East