Yeken Kignit

Ethiopia

Yeken Kignit (“Looking Over One’s Daily Life”) premiered in June of 2002 and ran through November of 2004. This 257-episode radio serial drama aired in Amharic, the national language in Ethiopia, on the National Service Radio of Ethiopia.

Yeken Kignit was launched in conjunction with another radio serial drama, Dhimbiba (“Getting the Best Out of Life”) that ran for 140 episodes in Oromiffa in Ethiopia. The broadcast of the two radio serial dramas in two languages had a dramatic reach. Approximately half of the population of Ethiopia listened to one PMC’s radio dramas, which equates to approximately 40 million listeners. PMC was requested by the Ethiopian government to rebroadcast Yeken Kignit throughout the southern region of Ethiopia, which PMC did. Yeken Kignit cost just four US cents to reach each listener. PMC also published two supporting books, Yehiwot Tebitawoch (“Drops of Life”) and Kinfam Hilmoch (“Winged Dreams”), and produced a play, Yesak Jember (“Laughter at Dusk”).

As with all of PMC’s radio serial dramas, Yeken Kignit was created using PMC’s serial drama methodology.

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Making a Difference

Yeken Kignit and Dhimbiba were extremely popular radio programs, generating a huge audience response. The programs received more than 15,000 letters from listeners. Yeken Kignit and Dhimbibba resulted in more than 70 newspaper articles and more than 30 radio and TV talk shows and discussion programs. A Ph.D. and two Masters theses at Addis Ababa University were written about the programs. Recognizing the importance of the programs, the Government of Ethiopia also allocated funds for a rebroadcast. As a registered NGO in Ethiopia, PMC is one of very few international organizations receiving support from the Government of Ethiopia. In just two and a half years of nationwide broadcasting, these two radio serial dramas achieved the following:

• 45 percent of women and 47 percent of men identified themselves as regular listeners to the program.
• 63 percent of new clients seeking reproductive health services at 48 clinics in Ethiopia reported that they were listening to one of PMC’s serial dramas.
• 18 percent of new clients named one of PMC’s programs by name as the primary motivating factor for seeking services.
• Of new clients who cited radio programs as the impetus for seeking services, 96 percent said that they were motivated by one of PMC’s programs.
• The fertility rate in Amhara (the most populous region) fell from 5.4 to 4.3 children per woman.
• Among married women in the Amhara region who were listeners, there was a 55 percentage point increase in those who had ever used family planning methods, while among non-listeners the change was only 24 percentage points.
• Demand for contraceptives increased 157 percent.
• Listeners to Yeken Kignit were 5 times more likely than non-listeners to know 3 or more family planning methods.
• Among married women who were listeners, there was a 52.1 percentage point increase in those who had ever used family planning methods, while among non-listeners, family planning use increased by only 20.5 percentage points.
• Among married men who were listeners, there was a 42.7 percentage point increase in those who had ever used family planning methods. Among non-listeners, use increased by only 17.5 percentage points.
• Spousal communication about family planning issues among currently married women climbed from 33 percent to 68 percent.
• There was a corresponding decrease of 70 percent in the proportion of respondents to the surveys who said that the decision to use family planning should be made solely by the husband.
• There was a 50 percent increase in communication between mothers and their children about sexuality issues.
• Female listeners sought HIV tests at three times the rate of non-listeners.
• Male listeners sought tests at four times the rate of non-listeners.

63%

63 percent of new clients seeking reproductive health services at 48 clinics in Ethiopia reported that they were listening to one of PMC’s serial dramas.

(PMC Endline Research)

96%

Of new clients who cited radio programs as the impetus for seeking services, 96 percent said that they were motivated by one of PMC’s programs.

(PMC Endline Research)

5X

Listeners to Yeken Kignit were 5 times more likely than non-listeners to know 3 or more family planning methods.

(PMC Endline Research)

Project Information

Title: Yeken Kignit (“Looking Over One’s Daily Life”)
Format: Radio serial drama
Location: Ethiopia
Language: Amharic
Duration: June 2002-November 2004

Administrative Staff:
Country Representative: Dr. Negussie Teffera

Storylines


Fikirte’s story

Fikirte’s grandfather, Debebe, uses his house to teach local children the alphabet. Damte wants Debebe’s house to use it for prostitution. Damte gets Debebe sent to jail and then secretly poisons Debebe and kills him. Fikirte works hard to keep her grandfather’s house, but Damte spreads rumors about Fikirte to her family and friends and turns her sister onto drugs and alcohol and gets her pregnant. When she has an abortion, she almost bleeds to death and discovers she is HIV positive. Fikirte supports her and eventually people realize that Damte is evil. Damte tries to kill Fikirte, but he is spotted by a policeman, who shoots him. Fikirte falls in love with Ermias and they live happily as a married couple. Fikirte is empowered to stand up for herself and help others around her having learned much about HIV/AIDS, rape, commercial sex, the importance of education, reproductive health, and family planning.

Issues this storyline addresses:

Anguach & Demlew’s story

Anguach and Demlew are a loving young couple with a bright future, but Demlew’s mother doesn’t like Anguach. She begins to meddle in their relationship and pushes a neighbor to seduce Demlew. He succumbs, having sex with the neighbor, and gets infected with HIV. Anguach is devastated, but she forgives him and cares for him until he dies. Although she is terrified that she might be HIV positive, Anguach decides it’s better to know her status and gets tested. Much to her relief, she finds out that her test results are negative. Eventually, Anguach marries again and lives happily ever after.

Issues this storyline addresses:

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