Kenya Red Cross has recently launched a television station (Switch TV), targeting the youth with a view to empowering them to solve humanitarian challenges in their communities.

“Our vision is to be the most influential platform for educating and empowering the youth to solve humanitarian issues in Kenya, in Africa and the whole world,” says Joanna Gommans, the Station’s Chief Operating Officer.

Aware of the needs and content consuming habits of young people in the digital age, the station intends to have a unique and innovative approach in order to attract viewers.

“TV has become boring for this audience and they nowadays rely on social media to get their latest updates. We hope that through this new station, we will be able to deliver and satisfy their growing needs,” Shaffie Weru, one of the TV hosts, who is also one of the several local influencers and popular celebrities who were recruited by Switch TV, in the hope of attracting young viewers.

Research began in 2017 in order to identify the type of programming content the youth would identify with. Switch TV will offer a variety of engaging programmes including local and international content that includes an entertaining mix of drama, comedy, reality, sports and current affairs programmes.

“Switch TV will have a unique line up of content that will be contemporary, contextual and portraying the progressiveness of Kenya’s youth,” says Tamima Ibrahim, Switch TV’s Head of Content.

Ibrahim explains further: “Our content will mirror their (Kenya’s youth) positive mindset and dynamism; we will not only engage but empower youth to find solutions to issues facing them, while promoting positive values in youth culture. We will also be the ultimate digital platform as our content will also have a massive appeal across social media platforms.”

Switch TV is fully owned by the Kenya Red Cross (KRCS). KRCS has a long history of innovation—and Switch TV is one of the innovative initiatives of the National Society, which also runs hospitality services (The Boma Hotel), as well as ambulance services (Emergency Plus Medical Services or E-Plus).

Switch TV is a digital free to air channel and can also be watched live online.

(Written by Euloge Ishimwe. Pictured: Tamima Ibrahim, Switch TV’s Head of Content)