Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Save the Children Norway, with funds from the Norwegian government, has announced that it will provide Population Media Center (PMC) with $2.4 million for a four-year, social content radio serial drama project in Ethiopia. The drama will be created using the Sabido methodology, a highly effective entertainment education technique that PMC has implemented in thirteen countries worldwide. The serial drama will address issues relating to reproductive health.
The project also involves production of a radio talk show for youth with phone ins from listeners; production of various print material on reproductive health; and capacity building programs for journalists, playwrights, religious leaders, women leaders, youth associations, and reproductive health professionals. In addition, the project includes specialized activities for Ethiopia’s Afar and Somali Regions focused on eradicating female genital mutilation. The project will include extensive monitoring and evaluation.
This project follows a series of projects by PMC in Ethiopia. In 2004, PMC completed a project that included radio serial dramas in the major languages, Amharic (257 episodes) and Oromiffa (140 episodes).
The programs addressed issues of reproductive health and women’s status, including HIV/AIDS, family planning, marriage by abduction, education of daughters, spousal communication and related issues. Approximately half of the population of Ethiopia listened to one of PMC’s radio dramas; this equates to nearly 40 million listeners.
After just two and half years of broadcasting, the resulting behavior change was dramatic. For example, demand for contraceptives increased by 157%, and male listeners sought HIV tests at four times the rate of non-listeners, while female listeners sought testing at three times the rate of non-listeners.
The funding provided by Save the Children Norway will help PMC to expand upon these programs in Ethiopia and to educate millions about the importance of family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, and other related issues.
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