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Alumnus discusses peace in radio program

Samuel and Maquita in the background, a Psychologist from the Rural Hospital of Muxungue, engage with listeners on the topic of conflict resolution in families.
Samuel and Maquita in the background, a Psychologist from the Rural Hospital of Muxungue, engage with listeners on the topic of conflict resolution in families.

Background in creative arts

I was trained in the creative arts to analyze community conflicts and perform the correct action. The module “Art Approaches to Peacebuilding” facilitated by Dr. Ann Rita continued my training in this area. The module taught me how to tell stories through Image Theatre, Visual Arts and Theatre Forums. This gave me more creativity to convey information in a correct and direct way.

Samuel Manuel launches his radio program for peace.

When I returned from API, I presented my learnings to the organization that sent me. Furthermore, I shared how I would contribute to building peace in the community. Due to military and political violence at the time, it became a security risk to gather in the Muxungue district. The only public gatherings allowed were government meetings. Therefore, any project implementation would be slow.

Radio program for peace

Even so, I proposed the radio program “Peace in the Community” to the coordinator of RTCC (Chibabava Community Radio Television). The program would provide listener debate around peace themes I studied at API but in an interactive, participatory way.

Radio is a good means of communication as many people access it from their mobile phones. In addition, listeners participate in two languages, Ndau and Portuguese, from their homes without shame or fear. The topics are planned carefully in order to avoid political issues. Finally, the discussion is in short segments, taking into account the time allocated by the radio host.

Listener supported conflict resolution

Some of the topics discussed: What causes conflicts? What is the cycle of conflict? What is mediation and mediation processes? Sometimes, I bring on guests to give a historical account or to ask questions and keep the listeners engaged. One debate was about the issue of men using knives, arrows, machetes and other objects to solve conflict. On the topic, “What causes conflict in relationships,” one caller said,

“Everyone has his own way of thinking, but we cannot admit to this difference. We do not consider that we are not the same body guided by one head.”

The topics really address issues and examples related to the daily life, both social and cultural, of the community. The radio program, which started at the end of 2019, is still doing well today. Most listeners who call or SMS us speak of behavioral and attitude changes. It is helping people resolve conflicts and create a peaceful environment. Finally, it is changing their practices and violent attitudes.

DATE SUBMITTED: 2 January 2019
SUBMITTED BY: Samuel Manuel, Class of 2018
LOCATION: Muxungue district, Mozambique

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