Zoukoutap ("To Limp") has flipped the script on social issues, like child slavery and family planning. The series launched in Haiti in 2013. Rhythms of Afro-Caribbean theme music, relatable characters, and shocking cliffhangers entertained and educated audiences as the series continued until 2020. Zoukoutap 3 had more than 550,000 loyal listeners tuning their radio dial to listen every week
“Zoukoutap taught me not to mistreat your child or any child. The right thing to do is to put your child in school and to always treat other children as if they’re your own.”
– Zoukoutap Listener
“I really love the show. It makes me laugh, just like it sometimes makes me cry.”
– Zoukoutap Listener
Listeners were 2.2 times more likely to support a neighbor intervening on behalf of a restavek (Restavek is a child slave in Haiti).
Listeners are 2.1 times more likely to use contraception in the next six months because they are not ready for children.
Listeners are 3.5 times more likely to know condoms can protect against both pregnancy and STDs.
Moving the needle on deeply rooted social issues takes time and is a more complex challenge than building a fan base. That is why a long-term commitment to an audience is crucial – and why PMC has broadcast three powerful Zoukoutap shows in Haiti.
Building global sustainability for today and for tomorrow all begins with the rights of women and girls. The right to education, economic independence, and reproductive autonomy are the building blocks and must-haves for gender equality and a climate-conscious world.
PMC produced the first season of Zoukoutap (“To Limp”) in Haiti in 2013. The Creole language radio show was such a success it was rebroadcast in 2014. A sequel to the program, Zoukoutap 2, aired from May 2015 to June 2016. Zoukoutap 3 aired from November 2018 to July 2020.
Although Zoukoutap means “to limp,” it is also the noise made by limping, like the scuffing on the ground. The theme song ends with a phrase that translates into, “we’re zoukoutap(ing) until we walk straight.”
Haiti’s Restavek System Impacts One In Every 15 Children.
Zoukoutap addressed a number of health and human rights issues, including Haiti’s “Restavek” system.
In the Haitian Restavek practice, parents unable to support their children may give their kid(s) to another family. The receiving family is supposed to provide the children with food, shelter, and access to education. Unfortunately, many children never get an education or barely get food and shelter. These children are completely at the mercy of their new “families,” and they often face verbal and physical abuse, unrelenting manual labor, and no source of love and support.
A focus group of participants listing to Zoukoutap 2 overwhelmingly responded that the contents of the show accurately and fairly reflected the truths of the Restavek system in Haiti. One participant stated, “What grabs my attention […] it’s the reality it shows, it opens my eyes to what’s going on in my country. When I listened to Zoukoutap it showed me a reality I never knew or cared about in Haiti, which is Ti Anklin’s situation of the Restavek.”