wateraid

Rwanda radio stars take to the airwaves to save lives with hygiene message

The group have been heard by over four million people

HELLO! Magazine

A group of young people in Rwanda has been writing, producing and acting in a series of radio dramas to educate people about the importance of hygiene – with the broadcasts reaching a third of the country's population and counting. The informative plays, made in partnership with Radio Ishingiro, charity WaterAid and supported by players of the People's Postcode Lottery, have been heard by four million listeners. The dramas highlight the vital role hand-washing and sanitation play in preventing the spread of many diseases, not just Covid-19. The radio project runs alongside WaterAid's water, sanitation and hygiene education programme to bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to some of the most deprived areas of the country. With an estimated one in four Rwandans unable to read and many not owning a TV, radio is the most effective way of distributing news and information in the African country.

Elena Heatherwick/WaterAid/People's Postcode Lottery

A family gathers around the radio to listen to a play

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As well as writing and acting, the students aged 14-20 even make their own sound effects, including creaking doors and animal noises. "The dramas really are changing lives and that makes me feel important and really happy," says cast member Solonge. Her mother, Emelthe Mukashyakh, says: "All my neighbours have been listening to her and that makes me really proud. I now understand good hygiene and sanitation is the source of good health." For more information or to donate, visit www.wateraid.org

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