Larry Macaulay: The Radio Founder

How do you begin a new life in a foreign country? By taking on an active role in society, for example. We make a point of supporting projects in which the principal agents are refugees themselves. We’ll introduce three of them in this mini-series. Shown here is Larry Macaulay, founder and presenter of “Refugee Radio Network.” 

Robert Bosch Stiftung | January 2018
Larry Macaulay at the microphone

Larry Macaulay at the microphone: He never gets nervous.

If you want to achieve something, then you some-times have to do  what little children do. Make noise  until you get it.

Every day, Larry Macaulay demonstrates that his motto brings results. You can learn how to reach goals from him, no matter how far away they are at first. In 2014, following extensive efforts to raise awareness and drum up interest among poten-tial listeners, his initiative "Refugee Radio Network“ went on the air. On Macaulay’s broadcast, refugees tell their own stories, completely unfiltered. Afghans describe everyday racism in Germany. Refugees report live on the conditions in Greek camps. Others talk about what life in Europe is really like.

The Internet broadcasts now have up to 1.4 million listeners, and their creator is constantly on the road in Europe seeking to spread the word. He has already trav-eled to 17 countries and met policymakers and representatives of NGOs. He has even met Germany’s Federal President. There are already outposts of the station in some countries, but still far too few, he says. Does he have a life outside of doing radio? Hobbies, leisure pursuits? No time for anything like that, he says.

With his radio project, Larry Macaulay gives refugees a voice.

In November, he organized a large conference for refugees in Hamburg on the sub-ject of media awareness. He hopes to improve the conditions of refugees in Europe with his work. Macaulay’s voice rises when he talks about the German media. “At the peak of all the misery,” he says, “their question was primarily why the refugees can afford expensive smartphones.” He left Nigeria himself in 2011. “A country where murder makes right.” Via Libya, he traveled to Italy by boat; he doesn’t want to elaborate much on the subject. 

Macaulay only starts to calm down again when he talks about Hamburg. There, he finally had the opportunity to create a radio program based on his idea, thanks to the broadcaster Freies Sender Kombinat (FSK) and the community station Tide. He bought a microphone for seven euros at Saturn and then got started.

Was he nervous during his first broadcast? He shakes his head. He was involved in radio as a student in Nigeria. “Besides, I have an important mission, and fear would only get in the way,” he says. He wants to give refugees a voice and thereby give them back some of the dignity they have lost in the six-square-meter cells of the refugee shelters.

Larry Macaulay is the founder and presenter of “Refugee Radio Network”


is the founder and presenter of  “Refugee Radio Network,” which broadcasts on the Internet and at times as terrestrial radio, and has been awarded the “Alternativer Me-dienpreis.” In November 2017, he organized the “Conference on Migration and Media Awareness.” The conference and the “Refugee Radio Network” receive support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.