Yat Madit returns with more intercultural dialogues

Yat Madit returns with more intercultural dialogues

Media 
Description 

-8 new locations, 40 community dialogues, 16 CSO representatives, 52 radio shows, over 640 ambassadors of change-

Kampala, Uganda 17th May 2018: Yat Madit, the award winning multi-media drama series is back! With support from the European Union, Media Focus on Africa Uganda recently started implementing the second phase of the project CrossRoad: A Soap Opera for Social Change. 

This second phase is an extension of the project implemented between 2014-2017 by Media Focus on Africa, funded by the European Union, ICCO and Stichting Doen. It aimed at promoting reconciliation and social cohesion among post conflict communities in the region, through the use of edutainment and intercultural dialogues. In the first phase, a 13- episode Yat Madit drama series was produced and aired on TV and radio. The series has been translated into local languages for community screenings followed by intercultural dialogues between different cultures and tribes, in Acholi, Lango, Teso and Karimojong sub-regions.

Media Focus on Africa noted that the need to reach more communities in the region with the message of peace and reconciliation remains urgent, hence the need to extend the Yat Madit project to other equally volatile locations in the region. Indeed, despite the return of relative peace, communities still face the effects of past conflicts like psychological trauma, domestic violence, ethnic tensions, social discord, land disputes among others which affect their progress in the recovery.

On the basis of this urgent need and in the context of the European Year for Cultural Heritage 2018[1], where intercultural dialogue represents one of the main cultural heritage dimensions, the European Union has decided to support the replication of the community screenings and intercultural dialogue in 8 new locations and the airing of Yat Madit series in 4 new local radio stations. The locations that are spread across Acholi, Teso, Lango and Karamoja are: Tisai-Island in Kumi, Ngariam in Katakwi, Tapac and Rupa in Moroto, Ogur in Lira, Okuri in, Kitgum, Lamincwida in Otuke and Patek-Bobi in Oyam . The radio radios that are airing the soap opera and talkshows are Voice of Karamoja (Karamoja) Mighty Fire FM (Luo), Kyoga Veritas FM (Teso)and Lango FM (Luo).

On the occasion of the Europe Day on 9th May, the European Union Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Attilio Pacifici, has announced the EU additional support to the project for its "alternative way of resolving conflicts, leading to social cohesion, reconciliation and lasting peace among communities in Northern Uganda". 

Media Focus on Africa has worked in partnership with at least 16 CSO representatives from 7 CSOs across the targeted areas and 8 radio presenters and producers. They have undergone trainings to equip them with knowledge and skills to effectively conduct the activities. Topics included conflict transformation, edutainment, human rights, intercultural understanding among others.

   “When we were holding the first dialogues, participants always requested us to invite more people for the dialogues, or if we could take the series to other counties, clans or villages which they felt also needed be engaged in dialogues because of the challenges they were facing. We are glad that we can now reach more people with a much needed and timely project both in communities and on air,’’ Jan Ajwang, Media Focus on Africa’s programme manager said.

So far over 30, intercultural sessions have taken place attracting over 700 participants who have watched the drama series translated in local languages and participated in the inter-cultural dialogues. Land wrangles, alcohol abuse and unemployment, gender- based violence, school drop outs, early marriages and reconciliation with other ethnicities remained topical issues during the dialogues.  

The Yat Madit radio programme continues with at least 40 more radio shows to reach even more people and further contribute to the on-going process to promote inter-cultural understanding, reconciliation and social cohesion in the region.

Yat Madit Drama Series has won accolades in the Uganda Film Festival 2017 for TV Drama of the Year, as well as Best Actor and Best Actress in TV Drama. The project has also won a 2017 Intercultural Innovation Award, hosted by the United Nation Alliance of Civilization and BMW Group, for its innovative use of media for peacebuilding.

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For more information, contact: Project Manager Jan Ajwang; 0753827210, Project Officer, Ruth Nagudi; 0782081922

[1] https://europa.eu/cultural-heritage/

 

A drama series for social change: Building peace and reconciliation in Northern Uganda through film and dialogue