It started with a few boxes for eggs. Then Telekom helped and funded the project with the „Ich kann was!“ initiative. Today, comX radio is on-air around the clock.
T hey set the tempo for the district: the kids and youth of comX Internet radio. This radio station has been broadcasting live from Berlin's "Märkisches Viertel" district since 2010. Isabelle Ghesquier has been going in and out of the comX youth center since she was six years old. "There just isn't anything else in the Märkisches Viertel," explains the now 23-year old student. "Either you're in the playground playing between the bits of broken glass, or you go to a center where everything has been made nice for you." For Isabelle it was a complete no-brainer: Of course comX and above all, the radio.
The idea of a radio station started in 2009. The whole thing was engineered back then by the former comX leader Filippo Smaldino-Stattaus and staff member Marc Voigt. "We were looking for possible funding, and we stumbled on the Deutsche Telekom initiative," recalls Isabelle. "We put our heads together to decide what we were working on and where we could use more support". comX already had a studio. But it comprised egg boxes and an aging computer. "We thought, we can make more of this. But we need a project that will be fun for everyone." And so the idea of an Internet radio station was born.
chidren and young people reached
Euros of support per project
million Euros paid out in grants
individual projects sponsored across Germany
applications per year
For months, nothing happened at all. Then finally we had an answer: Deutsche Telekom will sponsor the project with a fat 15,000 euros. "We just couldn't believe it," remembers Isabelle. "Now we'll get real technology. And above all, we can do it just like we had imagined it".
The first thing was to clear out the rooms completely and invest in technology – because without that nothing would have worked. The renovations took about three months. "Then, when everything was finally finished, we were just really happy and proud," beams Isabelle.
comX already had a studio. But it was comprised only of egg boxes and an aging computer
Radio host at comX Radio
In the beginning, everyone could have a go on the microphone. No one was excluded. The first big project started in winter: The Berlin radio station KISS FM became sponsor for the Internet radio station and showed the young broadcasters how to make good radio. Since then, they have been on air round the clock, with live daily programs and automated playlists.
Isabelle had her own show too, "Best of Isi." "To begin with it seemed a bit weird, sitting there all alone in a room, talking into the microphone. But then all of a sudden, friends are writing to you that they are listening and are requesting tunes. It's totally mad." The station even has listeners in the United States and Turkey. For an international program, friends and relatives in Turkey even set up loud speakers on the street so that everyone in the village could listen to the program.
Today, Isabelle is doing Islamic studies. "Radio is still a dream job for me. Without comX, I probably never would have thought that radio could actually be an option for me." Even though she's still not completely sure what she wants to do for a career – one thing is certain: Yes, she can!