Shelburne, Vermont, USA- In response to problems related to the exploitation of children in western Africa, Population Media Center (PMC) is launching a new behavior change communication project that will support the protection of children, promote reproductive health, and avoidance of HIV/AIDS in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will fund the new $1.3 million two-year project that will include six months of formative research and training and eighteen months of production and broadcast of a serial radio drama using the Sabido methodology for behavior change (accompanied by monitoring and evaluation research).
The radio program will address issues related to child protection, trafficking of children across international borders and the link between this problem and poverty-inducing factors such as unplanned childbearing. The program will also confront underlying issues (such as insufficient family income) that put children at risk of exploitative labor situations.
Often, children or their parents believe that offers of employment (such as on cocoa plantations) for their children will result in added income to the family, while in reality, such offers sometimes lead to long hours of hard labor with little or no pay, and frequent beatings or other physical abuse.
Population Media Center (PMC) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works worldwide with the broadcast media, educating people about the benefits of small families; promoting the protection of children from exploitation, elevating the status of women; promoting the use of effective family planning methods; and motivating behavior change for the avoidance of HIV/AIDS.
The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.