Urunana DC is an NGO focusing on the following four services:
Urunana meaning hand-in-hand in Kinyarwanda, is the first soap opera to be broadcast in Rwanda.
Since February 16, 1999 the programme has been broadcast four times a week and a re-broadcast of each show has been on Radio Rwanda since October 1999. The programme has also been broadcast four times a week on the BBC World Service.
The show is produced by Urunana DC’s Well Women Media Project III in partnership with Health Unlimited and currently funded by the European Commission. Urunana is an audience needs-driven programme targeting rural women and youth of reproductive age. It addresses health issues, with particular emphasis on sexual and reproductive health as well as other problems that have direct or indirect impact on the reproductive health of the target group.
So far, a number of issues have been addressed including Family Planning, Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV/AIDS, Youth and Sexuality, safe motherhood, Malaria, domestic violence and sexual harassment as well as women empowerment.
The Urunana Programme is a blend of entertainment and education keeping the audience with long running stories, suspense building format, offering information and presenting choice to its listeners. Audiences are able to easily identify with characters and stories they portray; they understand that their own thoughts and feelings are reflected in the soap without imposing their personal values. The programme aspires to influence change from negative to positive behaviours. This is possible through famous characters such as Bushombe and Kankwanzi , Stefano and Nyiramariza as well as the Muhire and Mugeni families, who are able to draw thousands of people close to the Radio to listen to Urunana when on air and several interactive community shows.
In order to keep the programme balanced and focused, a series of research and needs assessment are carried out across the country and stakeholders are consulted regularly.
The audience participates in the programme monitoring through audience groups in various parts of the country, sending letters, calling inns and community visits. Urunana producers spend time with the population in the rural villages of Rwanda holding focus-group discussions, pre-testing and post-testing stories and messages respectively. In addition, the team spends some time in the most rural villages with people in order to write true stories through rural familiarization.
Urunana is a blend of entertainment and education. Its long-running, suspenseful format offers information and presents choices. Listeners identify with the characters and their stories; they can comprehend that their own attitudes as well as beliefs are reflected. By listening to the show audiences will hopefully decide to change negative behaviors in their own lives.
Umuhoza is a radio magazine produced and broadcast on radio Rwanda since October 1999. Here the issues raised in the Urunana Radio Soap are discussed in depth through interviews with relevant experts, by debates and vox pops.
Rural women and youth are empowered through advocating for sexual and reproductive health rights. The objective is to increase discussions amongst rural women of reproductive age and youth regarding the expressed reproductive health concerns and rights to health.
Due to the capacity built over years in terms of equipment and skilled personnel, Urunana DC has demonstrated capacity in providing media based production services to other organizations. Urunana offers the following services: radio productions, radio drama, technical services (studio), etc.
I have finished 11 years without a baby, but I can say that 90% of the good family I have is a result of good relationship between Odeta and Shyaka( a couple in Urunana soap opera). All that happened to them we have gone through, we love each other and pay no attention to what we hear, we thank BBC, but we can’t avoid telling you that the separation of Odeta and Shyaka distressed us.
At this point , though we can’t change the wish of story liner, Devota(Shyaka’s new fiancé), should have a baby with Shyaka, it will be so helpful to many couples who are still trying to get babies,, and if they fail to get a baby, do help us they shouldn’t separate because this can strengthen us , to continue being patient and faithful even we fail to get a baby, that is the usefulness of BBC(Urunana) in our family.