Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ADRA Radio Program Wins Prestigious Media Award in Malawi

Silver Spring, Maryland--ADRA Malawi recently received the "Radio Play of the Year" award during the 2008 Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Entertainers of the Year Awards, held last December in the city of Blantyre, for a radio program that promotes HIV/AIDS prevention, personal responsibility and healthy family relations among Malawians.

The ADRA radio program, titled Tikuferanji, or "Why are we dying?" in the national Chichewa language, appears on Television Malawi and also airs on state-run MBC Radio, promoting HIV/AIDS education as an important tool to prevent the spread of the disease through responsible and safer sexual behavior.

"Receiving this award is a great recognition of ADRA Malawi’s work in development and communication," said Emanuel da Costa, country director for ADRA Malawi. "The Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Awards are the most prestigious media awards in Malawi."
Michael Usi, programs director for ADRA Malawi, was also honored with the "Actor of the Year" award.

Through Tikuferanji, ADRA is addressing important HIV/AIDS-related issues, including the importance of blood testing, condom use, marital and family relations, faithfulness, the impact of traditional sexual practices, child labor, personal responsibility, empowerment, and human rights. The program, at times recorded in local villages, reflects the personal experiences of people who have been affected by issues similar to the ones discussed in the plays, which provide a sense of reality to the drama, said Usi.

In addition to this most recent award, Tikuferanji was also voted the best advocacy program in Malawi on radio and television. It received the Best Achiever Award in 2007, and is one of the most popular television shows on Television Malawi. According to various evaluations and media reports, the program is making a positive change on sexual practices in Malawi.

ADRA Malawi also works with other civil organizations, such as the National Initiative for Civic Education, the Civil Liberties Committee, the Malawi Human Rights Commission, and the Human Rights Consultative Council, educating vulnerable groups through focus group discussions, community dialogue sessions, and the dissemination of important educational materials. The topics raised at these meetings create the foundation for Tikuferanji’s plays.

ADRA Malawi is combating the spread of the pandemic through other educational programs and video productions, such as Lets Talk, a show that discusses the issues in ways that viewers and listeners can relate to. ADRA also partners with other organizations to address HIV/AIDS related issues, organizing events, dramas, songs, and traditional dances. ADRA is working to provide affected communities access to higher quality foods, better health care, and livelihood training initiatives that improve their standard of living.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reports that an estimated 900,000 people, or 12 percent of the population, live with HIV in this landlocked southeastern African nation, which ranks 164 out of 177 countries listed in the 2007/2008 Human Development Index. AIDS has already left more than half a million orphans in Malawi, one of the highest numbers by country in the world. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among Malawi’s adults, and has affected all sectors of society, destroying livelihoods and slowing economic growth.

ADRA Malawi is also actively implementing a three-year project called Training of Trainers (TOT), an international initiative that prepares selected members of a community as HIV/AIDS counselors. By the end of the three-year project, ADRA expects to provide counseling for 24,000 people in Malawi alone.

Since 1982, ADRA Malawi has been working in the areas of disaster relief, water and sanitation, HIV and AIDS, family planning, agriculture, primary health, basic education, and empowerment of vulnerable groups, such as women and children.

ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

Additional information about ADRA can be found at

Author: Nadia McGill
Media Contact: John Torres
Senior Public Relations Manager
ADRA International
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Phone: 301.680.6357

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