Three-year commitment will fund a radio soap opera addressing a wide array of health issues including family planning, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS
NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Segal Family Foundation announced today that it is making a $1.6 million Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to fund a radio soap opera in Burundi aimed at improving the lives of women and children through behavior change messaging. The radio soap opera will address key health areas including family planning, increasing the prevention and treatment of lethal childhood diseases and HIV/AIDS. The goal of the broadcasts is to affect change by normalizing use of health services in both rural and urban areas of Burundi. The 208-episode story arc will be broadcast twice a week over two years and address current topics related to maternal and child health in Burundi.
In making the announcement at the CGI Annual Meeting in New York City, Segal Family Foundation Executive Director Andy Bryant said, "Burundi is one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in Sub Saharan Africa. Given that 39% of the population is under the age of 15, we felt a radio soap opera was an effective tool to reach as many people as possible. As long-time members of the Clinton Global Initiative and having had the pleasure of hosting President Clinton as the keynote speaker at our own 2013 Annual Meeting, we felt it was appropriate to utilize the CGI platform to announce this important work."
The grant will be made to the Population Media Center, a 501c-3 organization headquartered in Shelburne, VT, which will be responsible for producing the radio drama in the local language- Kirundi. Radio is the most popular media medium in Burundi, as there are 17 radios for every television. It is the trusted source for reliable information across urban and rural geographies, ethnicities and income levels. Street dramas, text messaging, and other promotional materials will complement the radio soap opera and allow listeners to further engage with the characters and narratives in different ways.
The commitment marks a new strategy for the Foundation as well as a new initiative for the country. There has never been a Behavior Change Communications initiative like this one in Burundi. Segal Family Foundation Executive Director, Andy Bryant, added, "The commitment is co-funded by UNICEF, UNFPA, Population Services International, and the Dutch government. We couldn't have done this ourselves so we worked hard to engage other funders and technical experts to make this a truly multi-dimensional Commitment to Action."
Dedo Ndayishimiye, the Segal Family Foundation's country director in Burundi, added, "I grew up listening to radio here in Burundi- my friends and family members relied on radio to make all sorts of decisions in their daily lives and I still listen to radio programs today. In the past I've hosted a radio show targeting youth but there has never been a soap opera like this one in Burundi. I'm thrilled about the potential the program will have to influence my fellow Burundians towards healthy behaviors."
The Segal Family Foundation partners with outstanding individuals and organizations that improve the wellbeing of communities in Sub Saharan Africa. The foundation finds grassroots solutions to poverty that might otherwise be overlooked and work with over 130 partners in 18 countries across Africa.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.
More information regarding the soap opera initiative can be found at www.segalfamilyfoundation.org.
Media wishing to cover this event or request interviews should email NH@NicollaHewitt.com
SOURCE The Segal Family Foundation