Thursday, September 24, 2009

In Malawi, Popular ADRA TV Program Expands Audience

SILVER SPRING, Md. — In Malawi, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has reached an agreement with a privately owned television station to broadcast a successful television and radio series that uses drama to educate the public about HIV/AIDS spread and prevention by highlighting responsible and safe sexual behavior.

“As a TV station we thought it wise to enter into partnership with ADRA to start showing Tikuferanji as part of sensitizing people about the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” said Father Andrew Kaufa, a representative of Luntha Television, which broadcasts from Balaka, a city located southeast of Malawi’s capital city of Lilongwe. He added that this was another opportunity for more people to watch the programs.

Tikuferanji, which means, “Why are we dying?” in the national Chichewa language, addresses important HIV/AIDS related issues, such as the importance of blood testing, condom use, marital and family relations, and faithfulness. Recently, the program has also taken on other topics that affect human rights, such as child labor and personal responsibility, using HIV/AIDS as a platform.

The program, at times recorded in local villages, discusses the personal experiences of people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS and other related issues, providing a sense of reality to the drama.

Tikuferanji is already being broadcast on Television Malawi and the state-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). It has been on the radio in Malawi for nearly 13 years and on television for approximately eight. As one of the most popular television shows in Malawi, it received last December the “Radio Play of the Year Award” at the 2008 MBC Entertainers of Year Awards, and has been voted the best advocacy program in Malawi on radio and television. It also received the Best Achiever Award in 2007.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), nearly 12 percent of Malawians between the ages of 15 and 49, or 840,000 people, live with HIV. An additional 91,000 children under the age of 14 are also living with the deadly virus.

Since 1982, ADRA Malawi has been working in the areas of disaster relief, water and sanitation, HIV/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.

For more information about ADRA, visit

Author: Nadia McGill

(Original article can be found in the ADRA International Website)

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