Peacebuilding Radio Drama, South Sudan
Peacebuilding Radio Drama
Sawa Shabab (Youth Together) is a peacebuilding radio drama series for young South Sudanese. This project is a partnership between Free Press Unlimited and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP_. The series was designed to address the on-going conflict in South Sudan through a youth-orientated peace building radio drama. The programme aims to empower young South Sudanese to understand their own potential as individuals, respect and bridge differences within their communities and bring youth together based on the traits and values they share as South Sudanese.
I worked with Free Press Unlimited to establish Sawa Shabab in South Sudan and project managed Season One in four languages (English, Arabic, Dinka and Nuer). I helped launch and set up Season Two and designed, developed and secured funding for the accompanying Youth Outreach Programme.
The drama, now in it's third season, follows a group of young South Sudanese through their daily lives. The lead characters all exhibit values of a peace-builder, in the hope that, through continued exposure, youth listeners may emulate similar attitudes and behaviours.
The drama is based around a specially developed peacebuilding curriculum exploring three main themes: 1) Gender Equity, 2) Coexistence and National Identity, and 3) Youth Empowerment and Personal Responsibility.
Sawa Shabab is produced in both English and Arabic; Season 1 was also produced in South Sudan's two most widely spoken local languages: Dinka and Nuer.
The project includes extensive research elements (radio listener groups, national audience surveys and focus group discussions) along with various different listenership engagement tools such as Frontline SMS and a dedicated Facebook Page. This enables the project team to build a greater understanding of their audience and begin to measure the impact of the project. There is also a project Soundcloud page where all the radio programmes are uploaded.
In 2015 Sawa Shabab expanded to include an outreach programme which established a 'youth peace network' across the country by supporting youth groups to develop and implement their own peace building activities in their communities.
Season one was broadcast on around 30 different radio stations across the country. A project commissioned listenership survey revealed that 58.3% of over 600 respondents had listened to Sawa Shabab.
What The Listeners Say
“Thank you all in the new nation Sawa Shabab! Sawa Sawa! My message is that we must understand our peoples and ourselves. Let us do things for what happen in our country. By Emmanuel C Tor.”
“South Sudan peace and reconciliation. Thanks so much! We stand in unity for development. I also need to be with you brothers and sisters.”