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August 23, 2018

Via radio directly into the ear and the consciousness of the people

Bla bla bla - © terre des hommes switzerland
Bla bla bla - © terre des hommes switzerland

In the region of Geita, in northern Tanzania, violence against children and women is a daily occurrence. In regular radio broadcasts, our partner organisation Nelico talks about gender-specific violence and thus launches a public discussion on the subject.
Sascha Tankerville / Samuel Rink

It's stuffy and cramped in the studio of local radio station Storm FM, the station in the Geita region of northern Tanzania. On this day, eight women, girls and boys report closely on their experiences with gender-specific violence. It is a programme of our partner organisation Nelico (New Light Children Center Organization).

17-year-old Amidha Kovu* is currently telling her story. She used to live with her siblings in the country under very poor conditions. One day she was raped in the forest where she regularly went to look for firewood to earn some money. Her siblings were able to flee and get help. At the hospital in Geita, she contacted the Nelicos Help Line for victims, whom she knew from the radio.

Nelico helped her to overcome the trauma and accuse the perpetrator. He's in prison today. "Now I live in a boarding school where I can graduate," says Amidha Kovu. She is more determined than ever not to let herself be beaten down.

Information and advice close to the public
In Nelico's radio programme, social workers, police officers, lawyers, politicians and survivors regularly discuss gender-based violence. The audience can report on their own experiences or ask questions via telephone or social media.
Some would like to know how to behave in case of attacks or how to support a victim. Others want to know what exactly is meant by gender-based violence or how the problem affects Tanzania's development.

125'000 listeners with great interest
The program is getting there. "We receive many calls, sometimes we can hardly keep up with answering them," reports Nelico director Paulina Alexander. Sometimes the listeners only become aware that they themselves are affected by the programme.

The broadcasts are an important tool for Nelico, as many people do not have access to the Internet. But almost everyone listens to the radio. In rural areas, people take the radio with them into the fields and listen to the broadcasts while they work. In this way, Nelico potentially reaches about 125,000 listeners per broadcast. Among them are people like Amidha Kovu who need help after a violent crime.

*Name changed

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