Eighteen radio dramas, produced in 15 languages and broadcast on 21 radio stations across the country, communicate ideas and guidance on COVID-19, allowing listeners to take proactive measures to fight the pandemic. The EARS network of radio stations in Uganda already reaches more than 80 percent of the Ugandan population.
Besides the radio broadcasts, every weekly episode of the radio drama series named ‘The Pearl’ is also available on Viamo’s 1-6-1 Service in Uganda, providing on-demand access to the episodes in six languages from a simple phone. Additionally, people with internet access can listen to the episodes on The Pearl SoundCloud channel.
A WhatsApp quiz complements each of the 18 episodes. Once a listener sends a message to opt-in, The Pearl chatbot replies with a set of multiple-choice questions and answers to further support retention of the validated messaging of the respective episode in plain and accessible language. The bot also allows users to download to the radio dramas to their mobile device.
Providing high-quality, reliable, accurate and useful information, and engaging with listeners across multiple communication channels helps to counter dangerous mis- and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project is implemented by EARS - East Africa Radio Service and Media in Cooperation and Transition (MiCT) and funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Fondation Hirondelle, via the H2H Network’s H2H Fund, which is supported by UK aid from the UK government.
EARS´ Corona project in the press:
- Vanguard News | October 14, 2020
New startup debunks coronavirus fake news with ‘corona radio opera soaps’
- PML Daily | October 14, 2020
New start-up EARS fights coronavirus fake news using radio soap operas in rural Uganda
- Nile Post | October 13, 2020
EARS helps fight fake news on Covid using radio soap operas