Saturday, June 11, 2011
Population Media Center—Drama for Dramatic Change
Population Media Center (PMC) is an international NGO, and a registered charity in the U.S., which is working to educate people about the benefits of small families; elevating the status of women; encouraging use of effective family planning methods; promoting the protection of children from exploitation; and motivating behavior change for avoidance of HIV/AIDS.
The stated mission of the PMC is to: “work with mass media and other organizations worldwide, to bring about stabilization of human population numbers at a level that can be sustained by the world’s natural resources, to lessen the harmful impact of expanding humanity on the earth’s environment and to help large numbers of disadvantaged people live better and move out of poverty.”
Using the Sabido methodology, developed by Miguel Sabido when he was the Vice president of Mexico’s Televisa network, PMC works with media partners around the world to create long-running serialized melodramas, written and produced in local languages, to create compelling characters that are, in time, adopted as positive role models for the audience to bring about changes in social norms on issues that are of concern in that particular country.
In Nigeria, these Sabido dramas have been shown to be highly influential in the reduction in the desired number of children and an increase in condom use. In Ethiopia, listeners of PMC produced radio serial dramas sought HIV tests at 2.5 times the rate of non-listeners. PMC customizes the programs in consultation with their media, government, and NGO partners in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and North America to meet the particular goals of that region or country.
According to the PMC: “The programs incorporate many issues to make them reflective of life in the society rather than single-issue programs. Among the issues most frequently addressed are HIV/AIDS, age of marriage and childbearing, family size and health, contraceptive safety, self-efficacy with regard to childbearing decisions, employment for women outside the home, education of girls, ending abusive child labor, child survival, and conservation of natural resources.”
I normally don’t use this blog as a platform to highlight charities but the work of The Population Media Center is so impactful and amazing to me that I felt the urge to share it with all of you. Feel free to give shout outs to your favorite charities and NGOs here in the comments too!
Photo of actresses in Papua New Guinea recording a radio serial courtesy of PMG