From Burundi to Washington, DC: Celebrating Entertainment Designed to Improve Life for Children and Mothers
WASHINGTON, DC – On January 21st, the Population Institute of Washington, DC announced the winner for the best sexual health and population-focused radio show for 2015 at an evening gala in their offices on Capitol Hill. The radio show, Agashi (“Hey! Look Again!”) was written in Kirundi and aired half a world away in the small land-locked African country of Burundi.
Agashi is a dynamic and hugely popular serial radio drama written and produced by Burundians. It’s part of the work of the US-based nonprofit Population Media Center (PMC). PMC trains local teams around the world to create entertainment in the form of long-running dramas for TV or radio that changes lives. Alex Bozzette, PMC’s Program Manager—who lived and worked in Burundi this past year on Agashi—accepted the award on behalf of the PMC-Burundi team.
“On this happy and momentous occasion, the entire PMC-Burundi team is full of joy and pride without measure,” says Jean Bosco Ndayishimiye, PMC’s Country Director in Burundi. “It is always an honor to be counted among the global PMC staff but, additionally, it is an uncommon privilege to see the young Agashi compete with other giants of communication and take home this award after just two years of existence.”
Each year the Population Institute honors journalists, filmmakers, radio and television show hosts, and editorial cartoonists from around the world to promote accurate and broader media coverage of population and development issues.
“The entire PMC family is grateful to the Population Institute for this award—recognition that validates of the power of locally-driven behavior change communication and the courage it took to bring Agashi to the Burundian people during such a turbulent year,” says Bozzette, referencing the unrest that began in April 2015.
“We welcome this award like a dose of an energizing vitamin—one that gives us strength to continue the long and hard work we have undertaken, contributing to improving the health of the Burundian people in general and of children and mothers in particular,” Bozzette said as part of the acceptance speech, quoting Ndayishimiye. “Behavior change is the foundation of all development, durable and inclusive—a key for peace in this world.”
ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):
Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 16 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world.