HƐrƐ S’ra

Burkina Faso

PMC produced Hεrε S’ra (“The Road to Happiness”) in Burkina Faso. This 156-episode radio show aired September 2012 through March 2014 in Dioula, which is one of the two major native languages in Burkina Faso.

Hεrε S’ra aired twice per week on 22 community radio stations across Burkina Faso, as well as on Radiodiffusion Television du Burkina. It was one of two PMC radio shows on the air at that time. Yam Yankré was also airing in the Mooré language. Clinic monitoring estimated the combined listenership of these two programs at six million people. The radio broadcasts included weekly listeners’ contests in which listeners were quizzed on the storylines and issues they address. In just two months, there were 3,797 listeners who called in for the contests.

As with all PMC radio shows, Hεrε S’ra was created using PMC’s radio show methodology.

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Making a Difference

Hεrε S’ra aired simultaneously with Yam Yankré (a radio show in Mooré language) in Burkina Faso and clinic monitoring estimated the listenership at six million people. Research on the impact of Hεrε S’ra and Yam Yankré revealed that the cost per regular listener (listened at least once per week) was $2 US. PMC suspected the dramas would be highly powerful when 3,797 listeners called into the weekly listeners’ contests during the first two months Hεrε S’ra and Yam Yankré were on the air.

Clinic monitoring during the programs’ broadcast found that approximately one third (32%) of new family planning and reproductive health clients surveyed in the clinic monitoring said they came because of a radio program. Of those, more than half (52%) said Hεrε S’ra or Yam Yankré (or both) motivated them to get services. Endline research also showed that listeners to Hεrε S’ra and Yam Yankré were:

• 1.8 times more likely than non-listeners to state that women in their family participate in decisions regarding the education of children.
• 2 times more likely than non-listeners to state that the practice of female genital mutilation should disappear.
• 2.2 times more likely than non-listeners to disagree with the belief that female genital mutilation results in social acceptance for a girl.
• 1.5 times more likely than non-listeners to state that a baby should be put to the breast within one hour of birth.
• 2.2 times more likely than non-listeners to say that it is possible for the virus that causes AIDS to be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy.
• 1.5 times more likely than non-listeners to say “yes” when asked “Do you sleep under a mosquito net?”
• 1.6 times more likely than non-listeners to have ever given ready-made ORS to a child suffering from diarrhea.
• 2.3 times more likely than non-listeners to say “yes” when asked “Does the use of improved cook stoves save money and protect local forests?”


Listeners were 1.8 times more likely than non-listeners to say they have been tested, voluntarily, for HIV.

(Endline Research)


Listeners were 1.5 times more likely than non-listeners to state that a baby should be put to the breast within one hour of birth.

(Endline Research)


Listeners were 1.8 times more likely than non-listeners to state that they intend to use a modern method of contraception in the next 12 months to limit the number of children.

(Endline Research)

Project Information

Title: Hεrε S’ra (“The Road to Happiness”)
Format: Radio Show
Location: Burkina Faso
Language: Dioula
Duration: September 2012- March 9, 2014

Visit the PMC-Burkina Faso Facebook page!
Download Hεrε S’ra Fact Sheet

Administrative Team:
Country Representative: Moussa Dadjoari
Technical Assistant: Grégoire Kabore
Administrative and Finance: Nadège Ouoba
Administrative Assistant: Awa Bambara
Driver/Office Assistant: Mouboé Bationo

Creative Team:
Producer: Nado Olga Toe
Studio Technician: Yacouba Kanou
Head Writer: Moussa Dadjoari
Writers: Ado Noël Bambara, Sophie Heidi Kam, Catherine Lancelot, Fabé Mamadou Ouattara

News Related to this Project:

Radio Program Impacts Human Health in Burkina Faso, Africa

October 23, 2014 — People in Burkina Faso listen to the radio, and for the past two years the radio has provided... Keep reading.


Tchèkoura’s story

Tchèkoura is 32 years old, runs a small restaurant, and is married to Irene. His cousin, Pascal, is a shady businessman secretly in love with Irene, trying to force Tchèkoura and Irene apart. He lures Tchèkoura into investing in a fictitious gold mine which ruins Tchèkoura financially and forces him to sell the restaurant to Pascal at a fraction of its market value. Under financial stress, Tchèkoura begins to beat Irene and breaks her arm. She flees to the safety of Tchèkoura’s aunt, bringing Tchèkoura to justice. Tchèkoura is devastated by what he has done to Irene and begs her to return, vowing to never raise his hand to her in anger again. He is true to his word, and they begin to mend their relationship. Meanwhile, Pascal is found guilty of raping several of the waitresses at the restaurant. He is brought to justice and during the proceedings the gold mine scam is discovered. Tchèkoura takes back the restaurant. Irene has also started a new business baking and selling traditional breads. They buy land and build a house and the future looks bright.

Zézouma’s story

Zézouma is married to Tènè and they have three children, but Zézouma wants more, specifically boys, in order to perpetuate his name. His youngest child dies of poor health, which further motivates him to have more children, but Tènè’s next pregnancy is difficult. Zézouma sends her to a traditional healer, disregarding his mother’s advice to bring her to the clinic. Tènè’s poor health hurts the family financially, and Zézouma can no longer send their eldest daughter to school. Zézouma and Tènè decide to use contraceptives and re-stabilize the family. Zézouma gets good prices for his cotton and his daughter returns to school and does well in her classes. But when Zézouma’s friend criticizes him for allowing his wife to take contraceptives, he wonders if he’s right. They stop using contraceptives and soon Tènè is pregnant. Zézouma’s mother advises prenatal visits but Zézouma is reluctant. Tènè has a difficult childbirth and needs to be sent to the clinic, which plunges the family into economic instability once again. Zézouma and Tènè decide they must use contraceptives. Tènè is able to get a job and they are able to provide a good education for their children. Zézouma becomes an advocate for family planning in his community.

Kènin’s story

Kènin’s stepdaughter Maminè becomes pregnant. It turns out to be a difficult pregnancy. Kènin’s wife advises Maminè to go to the clinic, but instead he sends her to the village sorcerer to undergo an excision ritual. Maminè gets sicker. Kènin disowns Maminè after the ritual fails to help her and sends her to her uncle’s home. It turns out that Maminè has fistula and needs to be sent to the hospital. Maminè is so upset and overwhelmed by her stepfather’s negative view of her that she tries to commit suicide. Luckily, Kènin saves her just in time and he apologizes for his behavior. Kènin takes her to the doctor so that she can be treated.

Issues this storyline addresses:

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