CASE STUDY: Women Only HEAT Training – Bilan Media

Bilan Media is Somalia’s first, and only, all women media team. With its unique perspective and access to women’s lives, they are breaking new ground for women journalists in Somalia.

The issue

In a conservative society and often dangerous environment there are many challenges when it comes to providing these journalists with the freedom to choose what they report and how they cover it, in a safe and secure way.

The solution

Following a referral from the Kenyan Editor’s Guild, Bilan Media engaged with SEPAR International’s Kenya team to equip them with the skills to ensure their reporting could be conducted as safely as possible.

Our approach was to make this assignment highly collaborative and relevant. Bilan’s female journalists were open to sharing their experiences in Somalia allowing us to emphasise the topics that affected them most.

The training

Our tailored four-day training module was made up of theory and practical sessions, which embraced our ‘do no harm’ philosophy. The key areas of focus were situational awareness, risk assessment, first aid, psychosocial factors, kidnap & abduction, digital security and countersurveillance.

The outcome

The training feedback from Bilan Media and their female journalists was very positive. They had never undertaken this type of training and felt it was life-changing in terms of the confidence it built. They remain in very close contact with our Kenyan team and here’s what they had to say…

“We learned how to best protect ourselves in the hostile environment in which we live. I loved learning about first aid and how to do the practical things like changing tyres”. – Shukri
I learned indispensable things during the hostile environment course, especially about the way I react during live weapons fire”. – Hinda