The Challenge

Lack of information and the spread of misinformation can prevent people and communities from effectively addressing the challenges facing their communities. In central Africa, isolated communities have very limited access to information that could help them address the underlying issues that contribute to violent conflict. This includes information about armed group activity, education on the role that poaching plays in perpetuating violence, and advice about the safest way to interact with escapees.

Our Response

We work with central African partner organizations and international experts to produce and share messaging designed to educate the public on violence prevention, conflict mediation, and conservation. The goal is to foster a greater understanding of these issues and how they contribute to cycles of violence throughout the region. We spread messages using the same technology that local populations already use to share music, including FM radio and secure digital (SD) cards as well as an innovative mobile cinema program.

 

 

 

Statistics

More than 600 hours of FM radio messages broadcast

7 local FM radio stations broadcasting sensitization messages

2 Mobile Cinema films screening in central African communities

FM Radio Messaging

FM Radio is one of the best ways to spread a message far and wide. We work with our local partners in CAR & DRC to create radio messages that discuss the link between conservation and human security, provide information to prevent gender-based violence, and encourage techniques for peacefully mediating conflict.

Pre-Recorded Secure Digital (SD) Cards

While FM broadcasts have a wide reach, there are still many communities who don’t have access to even this source of information. However, people in this region share music etc. using micro SD cards. So we have started to do the same, with sensitization messages. Pre-recorded messages are loaded onto SD cards along with popular local music. The SD cards are then distributed in communities that lack access to FM messaging and other methods of communication.

Mobile Cinema

As part of the Mobile Cinema project, we collaborate with central African and American filmmakers, local partners, and conservation experts to create films for central African communities. We cast local actors and use the power of story in local languages to cover topics like social cohesion, violence prevention, and conservation. Thanks to a large inflatable screen, films the film can be brought from community to community. Screenings are accompanied by a workshop and guided discussions that equip community members with strategies for preventing violence and foster further acceptance of individuals returning from armed group captivity.

Our first Mobile Cinema film, They Came At Night, was created in 2013 and has been screened in dozens of Central African communities as part of workshops to train local populations on how to safely support LRA escapees coming out of captivity and seen by thousands of people around the world. Our newest film, Ani Wa Sa was completed in the Fall of 2018 and is now being used as part of workshops to promote trust and collaboration between local communities and conservation authorities.

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