Mieraf (“New Beginning”) premiered in June of 2010 and aired through November of 2011. This 144-episode radio show aired twice per week in Amharic, Ethiopia’s official language, on the National Service Radio of Ethiopia.

As Mieraf addressed various issues, it illuminated the tasks and responsibilities of Health Extension Workers to increase community understanding and improve the delivery of health services in Ethiopia. When the program started in 2010, there were 30,000 Health Extension Workers serving rural communities, but many people were not utilizing services. As part of PMC’s Whole Society Strategy, a radio talkshow, Fenote (“The Right Road”), reinforced Mieraf’s messages with live discussions with real-life Health Extension Workers.

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

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Making a Difference

In 2011, Mieraf received the award for Best Serial Drama at the Population Institute’s Global Media Awards. An independently commissioned UNICEF analysis of Mieraf, completed in 2012, showed that listeners to the program were:

• 3.6 times more likely to know about HIV prevention methods compared to the non-listeners
• 1.9 times more likely to know about sanitation than non-listeners and had better awareness of the Health Extension Program


3.6 times more likely to know about HIV prevention methods compared to the non-listeners

(UNICEF Analysis)


1.9 times more likely to know about sanitation than non-listeners and had better awareness of the Health Extension Program

(UNICEF Analysis)

Project Information

Title: Mieraf (“New Beginning”)
Format: Radio Show
Location: Ethiopia
Language: Amharic
Duration: June 16, 2010 – June 30, 2011

PMC Country Staff:
Country Representative: Dr. Negussie Teffera

News Related to this Project:

Entertainment-Education Program Bolsters Ethiopian Public Health Initiative

December 2, 2013 — SHELBURNE, VT – An entertainment-education radio serial drama broadcast in Ethiopia has effectively increased awareness of HIV prevention... Keep reading.


Hibist’s story

Hibist Ambatchew is a 21-year old girl living with her family in a rural town with very traditional parents. She struggles to find her place among her three brothers and to overcome the challenges of being female in a male-dominated society. Despite the criticism she endures from all sides, Hibist completes her 10-year education and joins the Health Extension Worker Program, where she is determined to find a way to improve the health of her family and community. As she pursues her training, she is condemned by her family and her fiancé. They turn the village against her. Hibist is threatened physically, but the police officers in the area protect her. Her fiancé leaves her. Eventually, Hibist is the Health Extension Worker selected to win a scholarship. She leaves for further education after her fiancé realizes her value and they renew their engagement.

Marishet’s story

Marishet is a hard-worker and hopes someday to lift her family out of poverty. She returns to her hometown with her friend Hibist to become a Health Extension Worker. She excels at working in the rural village because she is familiar with the culture. Marishet is consistently faced by opposition, challenging her efforts to become a Health Extension Worker. Marishet draws on her skills and strengths, continuing to work hard, knowing that her work is making a positive difference in the community.

Issues this storyline addresses:

Tefiri’s story

Teferi drops out of school at an early age to engage in commercial activities like his father. Happy with his son’s decision, his father gives Teferi a lump of money to start a business. Teferi works ceaselessly and continues to expand his business activities despite continual challenges. He sets up a flourmill, which turns out to be very successful. During the course of the story, he also falls in love with Hibist, a young woman who wants to pursue education and become a Health Exchange Worker. Pressured by his family, Teferi calls off his engagement. His family doesn’t think she should pursue such work and disapproves of her putting her profession before her relationship (she says they must wait to marry). Eventually, he realizes his folly and Hibist accepts him back.

Issues this storyline addresses:

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