Chiefs, Teachers and Parents talk about ending FGM on Radio, Tonkolili, Sierra Leone

Chiefs, Teachers and Parents talk about ending FGM on Radio, Tonkolili, Sierra Leone

By Team Tonkolili,

The Global Media Campaign (GMC) funded Team Tonkolili for a media campaign on June 16, the Day of African Child.

Media campaign:

Radio discussions programme at Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC) Magburaka town, Radio Gbonkolen Yele town Tonkolili district, Radio Numbara in Bumbuna town respectively. The funds were also spent on transportation, feeding, lodging, and camera rental.

The Conversations:

The topic of discussion was about the effects of FGM on women and girls, and what Paramount Chiefs, Sowies, Religious Leaders, and teachers can do for the total eradication of the practice. We targeted an audience of 850,000 and eventually ended up reaching 870,000 people in Tonkolili District and the area surrounding as the radio stations have a wider coverage. The phone lines were open for text and WhatsApp messages by listeners and invitees include the representatives of Paramount Chiefs, teachers, religious leaders, schoolgirls, and parents.

The role of the paramount chiefs, teachers, and parents was to let people understand that the issue of FGM is serious and needs to be discouraged out rightly. The role of invited school girls was to also let their colleague pupils, especially the uncut to understand how it feels to be cut. The role of invited religious leaders was to let their congregations know that FGM is not part of their religion. The presenters’ role was to bring out messages through the questions directed to invited guests in the studio.

Success:

  • We were able to hold three successful radio programs amidst the numerous challenges of trying to access the three radio stations.
  • We were also able to exceed the projected audience reach
  • We also had callers and texters from new communities.

Challenges:

  • Bad terrains
  • Difficulties to get the guests to our programs
  • Refusal of some motorbike owners to take us to the various radio stations due to the sensitive nature of FGM discussions we are embarking on.

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley is an opera singer, writer, and creative. She is running The Women’s Vinyl Project which empowers women and girls through singing and music. She is working with GMC as the Website News Editor, compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM across Africa.