Friday, January 7

Shhh, I'm Listening To The Radio

Few rural Zambians own a TV or receive a newspaper. How do they get their news? Recently, community radio stations -- broadcasting local-interest stories -- have become popular.

The Zambia Community Radio Project, a USAID project, broadcasts its popular radio program, Kumuzi Kwathu ("In Our Village"), in Chewa, and Chikaya Chitu in Tumbuka. According to APC Africa, the shows motivate their 600,000 listeners (!) by broadcasting inspirational stories about "fish farming, agro-forestry, beekeeping, sourcing donor finance and project management," as well as childbirthing methods, basic health maintenance, and especially HIV/AIDS prevention.

One Zambian bestowed this high praise: "'Our Village' has influenced behavioural change in response to HIV/AIDS. Many [people] who saw the disease as witchcraft now believe the disease is real." In case you haven't ever tried, folks, motivating someone to change their behavior is among the hardest things to do.

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