SHELBURNE, VT – Food, music, dancing….these are some of the elements you’ll find at different events throughout Burundi. And, although it’s not unusual for Burundian events to include these festive and cultural activities, it might be unusual for people to be rallying around a radio serial drama that has social importance.
Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization that strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. One of their programs hit the airwaves in Burundi in January of 2014. Agashi (“Hey! Look again!”) is a 208-episode radio serial drama that airs in Kurundi, which is one of Burundi’s two official languages.
“I was in Burundi with our Burundian staff in April,” says Scott Connolly, PMC’s Director of Research, “and was lucky enough to get a T-shirt and a hat. This country team is pro-active about promotion, which is great because we love to see as much community involvement as possible. It builds trust for people to be able to speak openly and honestly about the issues the program addresses.”
PMC strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television. PMC uses a methodology called the Sabido methodology, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience, with some of those characters exhibiting and benefitting from positive behavior change.
PMC hires all local staffs to write, produce, and promote the programs, making sure that the characters and storylines are all culturally sensitive and relevant. The Burundi team has moved quickly and efficiently in putting together a variety of events, many of which feature singing, dancing, drumming, prize giveaways (such as radios), and speeches by members of the PMC-Burundi team and other locals.
At each event, participants can receive Agashi t-shirts, hats, banners, or stickers. .
ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):
Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org
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