Maleda (“Dawn”) premiered in May of 2005 through September of 2006. This 24-episode radio show first was distributed on audiocassettes for truck drivers and then aired on the National Service Radio of Ethiopia.

The Maleda series was distributed as an audiocassette show around Ethio-Djibouti in Ethiopia to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS, specifically for long-distance truck drivers and sex workers. Formative research identified the Addis Ababa to Djibouti transportation corridors through Logia and Dire Dawa as principal sources for increasing rates of HIV/AIDS. PMC wrote more than 24 episodes, but only produced 24 due to funding. Those first episodes of Maleda were so successful that the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office of the Government of Ethiopia (HAPCO) awarded PMC additional funds to produce the rest of the episodes and distribute them to high-risk populations via cassette, as well as to broadcast them on Radio Ethiopia. Around 750 copies of the cassettes were distributed throughout the project.

As with all of PMC’s radio shows, Maleda was created using PMC’s radio show methodology.

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Making a Difference

Although Maleda was developed with truckers and sex workers in mind, the appealing and educational storylines captured the attention of other community members. In fact, so many people wanted to listen to the drama that many towns consistently complained of audiocassette shortages. Reports also included sex workers deciding to leave the bars or hotels where they worked by getting married, returning to school, going back home, or starting their own businesses in small shops or corners. A few of the sex workers also organized themselves in order to open their own hotel. The final evaluation also found:

  • 93% of listeners could cite at least three means of HIV/AIDS transmission
  • 100% of listeners could cite at least three means of preventing infection
  • 37% of listeners reported adopting sexual abstinence
  • 30% of listeners reported adopting faithfulness to their partner
  • 33% of listeners reported using condoms during their last sexual interaction


93 percent of listeners could cite at least three means of HIV/AIDS transmission

(PMC Endline Research)


30 percent reported adopting faithfulness to their partner

(PMC Endline Research)


33 percent reported using condoms during their last sexual interaction

(PMC Endline Research)

Project Information

Title: Maleda (“Dawn”)
Format: Radio Show
Location: Ethiopia
Language: Amharic
Duration: May 2005 – September 2006

Administrative Staff:
Country Representative: Dr. Negussie Teffera


Maleda Storyline

The drama unfolds in various towns along the highway where truck drivers rest overnight, drink heavily, and sleep with commercial sex workers. The truck drivers’ promiscuity leads them to be exposed to AIDS. The story also demonstrates how female sex workers find themselves forced into these professions, and how these women believe that selling their bodies is their only way to make enough money to support themselves and their families.

This project funded by

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