VOA recently introduced a 30-minute Swahili-language radio show for women and young girls in Tanzania.
The weekly show, which airs weekends and is called “Crossroads: Healthy Decisions for the Youth,” examines crucial health-related decisions (and the inevitable consequences) made by young girls.
The program, which comprises a segment entitled “Ask the Doctor” as well as a roundtable feature that allows the youth to discuss issues of interest to them, serves not just as a source to get health advice but also as a place to exchange opinions and experiences.
“On each show, one girl will get the chance to talk about the decisions that are impacting her life,” said Mwamoyo Hamza, VOA Swahili service chief. “On the first program, we heard from a 15-year-old who had complications from a forced abortion. Now she’s realized she can no longer have children.”
VOA affiliate station in Tanzania, Sport Radio 912 FM, said that listeners started calling in immediately after the first broadcast to say they enjoyed the show.
The show is broadcast on shortwave and FM affiliate stations and will be available on the VOA Swahili Web site. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the program is also expected to reach audiences in neighboring countries.