Radio Project

To complement training seminars, the staff of the Advancing Healing and Reconciliation project collaborates with Radio Benevolencija, based in the Netherlands, on the development of a communications campaign designed to promote understanding of the origins of genocide, healing, reconciliation, and the prevention of future violence. The Rwandan Reconciliation Communications Project is unique in being a research-based campaign that brings together social scientists, psychologists, and communication for social change experts in a concerted effort to advance healing and prevent violence through popular media. The communications strategy is based around two main activities: mass media communication, specifically radio broadcasting in the local language (Kinyarwanda), and participatory communications activities through a grassroots level network of change agents and/or local organizations.

The radio programs will feature two main elements:

An ongoing radio drama series. A team of Rwandan writers and actors will create a drama series that communicates key project themes. By following the lives of various radio drama characters, listeners will understand how to prevent violence, how to start the process of reconciliation and how to promote healing.

A series of factual radio programs. These programs are primarily intended to provide deeper insight into the origins of genocide with historical examples and discussion of the application of the concepts to Rwanda. The programs will also emphasize the importance of healing and avenues to violence prevention. Various formats involving interviews, debates, personal portraits, poetry, music and oral history may be combined to best convey project messages.

The participatory communications activities will operate through a network of existing local organizations/community workers. The activities are aimed at reinforcing the information conveyed through the radio programs and at creating debate and discussion about the programs among local communities. As a research-based effort, the project has introduced both formative and summative evaluation activities in order to improve the programs and document their impact on healing and reconciliation in Rwanda. Listener groups are being used in the formative research process, in a participatory message design approach. The evaluation is being conducted in partnership with Yale University. For further information about the Rwandan Reconciliation Communications Project, please
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