Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Why are we dying? - Tikuferanji

Introduction:
Tikuferanji means why are we dying? The question attempts to provoke people to start thinking seriously about the factors that lead them into irresponsible sexual behaviours. The program is broadcast on both Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and Television Malawi. The program has been on radio for almost twelve years and on TV for about seven years. The initial purpose for the program was to deal with issues of HIV/AIDS in Malawi. The program has now taken on board other issues that affect the respect of human rights; HIV/AIDS being a cross cutting issue.

Michael Usi - Actor and Programs Director for ADRA Malawi

Mode of Communication:
The Malawi society has many ways of communicating information. Notable ones are: Songs, counselling, preaching, dialogue, group discussions/meetings, proverbs, satirical talks. Drama is popular among some tribes like the Lomwe in the Southern Region of Malawi. ADRA Malawi chose drama as the main means for communication since it is most liked by almost all the tribes in Malawi. The influence of foreign films has promoted the use and appreciation of the power of drama in communication. The plays are acted out by professional actors, some who are working with ADRA Malawi and others from outside ADRA.

Advocacy Issues:
ADRA Malawi works in partnership with other civil society organizations in the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as in the promotion of human rights. The issues are sourced through meetings, focus group discussion with communities, community dialogue sessions and IEC materials.

The issues raised are then acted out in the radio and TV plays. Some of the issues that have been acted out include: extra marital affairs, family life and AIDS, HIV/AIDS test before marriage, the impact of sexual rituals on the esteem of women as well as HIV/AIDS, child labour, condom use, governance and human rights. The feedback received has either necessitated the production of follow up plays or changing focus. The program is in the hands of the Malawian people; ADRA simply coordinates and produces the plays. Sometimes the program is recorded in the villages with the actual people that have been affected by the issues in question. This approach brings reality to the nature of issues being discussed. The emotions and articulation of the challenges in the communities has sometimes provoked policy makers to include some of the suggestions in the relevant policy papers. An example is when there was a program about the relationship between sexual rituals and HIV/AIDS. However, it must be mentioned that ADRA partners with other players in this field to consolidate the impact of the program. The civil society is using this program to promote issues of advocacy and empower the vulnerable to stand for their rights.

Evaluations:
Formal and informal evaluations have been conducted to asses the impact of the program. The results have been encouraging. Tikuferanji has been voted the best advocacy program in Malawi on radio and TV. In 2007, it received The Best Achiever Award

The direct impact though on the change of people’s sexual behaviour is rather difficult to precisely measure. Evaluations and media reports have indicated that the program is effectively contributing to the way people behave sexually.

Author: Michael Usi

1 comment:

ViveraPaz said...
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