Umurage Urukwiye

Rwanda

PMC produced Umurage Urukwiye (“Rwanda’s Brighter Future”) in Rwanda. This 312-episode radio serial drama aired April 16, 2007 through July 2009 in Kinyarwanda, one of Rwanda’s official languages. Umurage Urukwiye was rebroadcast from October 2012 through October 2014.

Umurage Urukwiye aired three times per week in Rwanda on two radio stations: Contact FM and Radio Salus, the National University of Rwanda’s radio station. Due to the popularity and the continued importance of its messages, Umurage Urukwiye was rebroadcast from October 2012 – October 2014 on Radio Rwanda, which broadcasts throughout the entire country.

As with all PMC radio serial dramas, Umurage Urukwiye was created using PMC’s serial drama methodology.

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Making a Difference

A nationwide survey conducted just after the original broadcast of Umurage Urukwiye showed:

Family Planning

• The likelihood of respondents saying they “currently use something to delay or avoid pregnancy” was 1.6 times greater at endline compared to baseline.
• Listeners were 1.6 times more likely than non-listeners to say they talked to their spouse or partner “once or twice” or “more often” about family planning in the last three months.
• Listeners were 1.5 times more likely than non-listeners to want three or fewer children.
• Listeners were 2.9 times more likely than non-listeners to say “yes” when asked if they could obtain a condom themselves and would not need to rely on someone else.
• Listeners were 2.1 times more likely than non-listeners to know of a place to get a female condom.

HIV/AIDS

• Listeners were 2 times more likely than non-listeners to have heard about a medication mothers can take to prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS to a baby.
• Listeners were 2.2 times more likely than non-listeners to say “yes” when asked “apart from AIDS have you heard of sexually transmitted infections?”
• Listeners were 2.7 times more likely than non-listeners to want to know their HIV status by getting a blood test.

Preservation of Mountain Gorillas and Natural Resources

• Listeners were 1.5 times more likely than non-listeners to cite population growth as the primary cause of environmental degradation and loss of gorilla habitat.
• Listeners were 1.5 times more likely than non-listeners to have talked with their spouse or partner in the past three months about the connection between family planning and conservation of natural resources.
• Listeners were 1.6 times more likely than non-listeners to know that protection of gorillas and their habitat can reduce poverty and bring tourists.

2X

Listeners were 2 times more likely to know of a place to get a male condom than non-listeners.

(Nationwide Survey)

2.7X

Listeners were 2.7 times more likely to want to know their HIV status by getting a blood test than non-listeners.

(Nationwide survey)

3.4X

Endline listeners were 3.4 times more likely to know that the protection of gorillas and their habitat can reduce poverty and bring tourists compared to baseline research.

(Nationwide survey)

Project Information

Title: Umurage Urukwiye (“Rwanda’s Brighter Future”)
Format: Radio Serial Drama
Location: Rwanda
Language: Kinyarwanda
Duration: April 2007 – July 2009

Visit Umurage Urukwiye‘s Facebook group!

Administrative Team:
Country Representative: Jean Kakule
Finance Assistant: Patrick Kanuma
Administrative Assistant: Frieda Abera
Research Manager: Odette Ingabire
Guards: Eric Kayiranga,  Anastase Niyiringiyimana, Jean de Dieu Ndagijimana

Creative Team:
Producer: Theodore Nzeyimana
Studio Technician:  Khaled Bizimana
Head Writer: Alfred Twahirwa
Scriptwriters: Rachel Kayinamura, Nadine Nshimirimana

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Storylines


Ndereya’s story

Ndereya lives in Tarama, a village at the forest’s edge below the gorilla habitat. He is 30 years old and has six children. His small plot of land is insufficient to support his family. In a desperate effort to feed his malnourished wife and children, Ndereya decides to clear a forested plot abutting his property to plant additional crops, but the cleared plot is located on the steep slope above his house. Without the trees, the soil erodes and destroys his crops further down the hillside. Now even more desperate, Ndereya tries to burn the area surrounding his property in hopes of creating more farmable land for his family, but the forest fire gets out of control and burns down his house. In a futile last effort to provide for his family, Ndereya is convinced by a corrupt businessman to trap a gorilla for to sell to a zoo. When Ndereya ventures out to capture the gorilla, he gets caught in the snare and loses a part of his foot. Eventually, with the support of his young neighbor, Ndereya comes to find a way to care for his family while preserving and working with the environment.


Cyungo’s story

Cyungo, a university student, cares about his girlfriend, Julia, but he’s frustrated that she refuses to have sex with him. As a result, he often has sex with a female friend, Anita. Some evenings he teaches English to a wealthy local man, Rwambika; he does not know that this man is Julia’s father. Julia’s father constantly cheats on her mother, sleeping with young women. Cyungo agrees to start luring women from the university to have sex with Rwambika, including Anita who gets pregnant and contracts HIV from Rwambika. Meanwhile, Cyungo continues to be frustrated by Julia’s vow not to have sex until she’s married – and even decides to lure her to Rwambika! Julia is too smart to be lured into the trap (and has no idea it’s her father). One night, Cyungo gets violent and hurts Julia. Cyungo starts sleeping with prostitutes, gets kicked out of University, and contracts a sexually transmitted infection. Julia, who still cares for Cyungo, supports him through his medical treatment and as he learns that his mother is dying of HIV. Cyungo realizes he must reform his ways. Julia graduates and gets a job teaching at the university, and Cyungo plans to retake his final year at school and to marry Julia.


Mimi’s story

Mimi is the 15-year-old daughter of Rukundo and Tereza. Her mother, Tereza, wants her to get married as soon as possible to Petero. Petero is constantly in debt because he spends his money on banana beer. Tereza tells Petero to force Mimi to have sex with him because then she will have to marry him. Petero rapes Mimi, but she doesn’t marry him. He runs out of town because people, including Mimi’s father, are looking to punish him for rape and his debt. Tereza goes to a sorcerer for help because she believes her daughter will never marry. He convinces her that she has to sleep with him for a happy future. Tereza contracts a sexually transmitted disease, and goes to the hospital for treatment.   When Rukundo leaves town for a conference, Tereza conspires again to force Mimi to marry Petero, who is now hiding out in the outskirts of the village. When Rukundo returns, he saves his daughter. She has missed her exams, but she will rejoin school next year and pursue her studies.


Sada’s story

Musoni is the head of a specialty coffee cooperative, and he fell in love with Sada when he was attending a workshop in another village. She agreed to come to his village and marry him. Musoni’s mother dislikes Sada, but she wants them to have as many male children as possible. When Sada becomes pregnant, Musoni’s mother insists on traditional medicine. Sada has a stillbirth. Sada’s next pregnancy doesn’t fare much better, threatening her own health and life. Meanwhile, a local neighbor is trying to destroy the specialty coffee cooperative, threatening the livelihood of all the local coffee farmers.  For her part, Sada is trying to hide a secret from her past: she has a five-year-old son to whom she sends money for his schooling. She’s afraid to tell Musoni out of fear that he’ll leave her, but eventually she tells him the truth and asks if they can leave his village and the influence of his mother. Sada and Musoni rebuild their relationship and move forward as a family.


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