(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) New York, NY – July 9, 2010 - There’s a strange wind blowing through the town of Dulce Brisas [Sweet Breezes].
Tired of seeing their friends’ lives ruined by the consequences of unprotected sex, a group of empowered youth has taken charge, implementing youth-focused sexual health services that they promote through community fairs.
While this story is set in a fictional town, it closely mirrors intrepid work currently going on in the actual town of Barreiro, Ecuador, a marginalized community on the outskirts of the country’s largest city, Guayaquil. Colectivo para el Desarrollo de Alternativas Humanas (Collective for the Development of Human Options) and Radio Publica del Ecaudor (Ecuadorian Public Radio), with additional support from Radio Libre Babahoyo and PCI-Media Impact are working to empower youth to provide sexual health services and to promote these services themselves.
Most of this coalition’s work centers on raising youth awareness about sexual and reproductive rights. But the coalition is also working to strengthen intergenerational-communication about how youths should exercise these rights. The coalition’s work is empowering its young participants to become agents of change in their own community.
After months of planning, scriptwriting and training both young actors and radio hosts, the radio talk show Doble Via (Two-way Road), featuring the radio drama “Dulce Brisas… Aprendiendo a Vivir” (Sweet Breezes…Learning to Live) will broadcast its first episode today at 4:00pm throughout southern Ecuador. The program will be rebroadcast nationally by Radio Publica del Ecuador in the near future. The program dramatizes the importance of youth empowerment in advancing social change.
“A project of this nature refines the participants’ capacities and makes them more aware of the reality around them,” said Project Coordinator, Lia Burbano Mosquera in a recent e-mail. “It develops skills that, directly and indirectly, point to the empowerment of a specific population.”
“Doble Via” is part of PCI-Media Impact’s My Community, a series of message-oriented, locally developed grassroots media programs throughout Latin America. With 25 years of experience in the field, Media Impact has long been at the vanguard of educational media. My Community represents its latest response to a pressing but often overlooked problem in international development: how to engage low-income communities in open discussions about crucial though sometimes controversial issues.
Each My Community program covers community-specific issues, such as democratic principles, sexual health and rights, reproductive health, and the mismanagement of solid waste. And each program is above all a grassroots soap opera, developed at every stage by members of the communities themselves.
Previous programs have impacted communities in direct and measurable ways. La Ruleta (The Roulette), developed and broadcast in Guatemala to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS resulted in a 400% increase in visits to “Tan Ux’il” pharmacies; Tan Ux’il was the leader of the local coalition for that program. And in Somoto, Nicaragua, our Camino al Paraíso (The Road to Paradise) inspired Martiza, a local listener, to recruit 30 other residents to develop an ecotourism enterprise. The programs continue to generate collective action and raise awareness about what people can do to improve their lives, and the lives of their children.
To learn more about PCI-Media Impact go to www.pci-mediaimpact.org.