For Immediate Release, April 30, 2014
Contact: Allison Sturma, USIP, 202-429-3869
Nicola Franco, Free Voice

(Washington, D.C., and Juba, South Sudan) - Sawa Shabab, a peacebuilding radio drama series for youth in South Sudan, will begin broadcasting across South Sudan the week of May 4. The drama series follows the daily lives of different young South Sudanese as they face unique challenges while learning how to become peacebuilders in their communities. Produced locally by Free Voice South Sudan in collaboration with the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the program is set to air on Radio Miraya, the Catholic Radio Network and other local stations across the country. Sawa Shabab consists of 20 episodes in English and Arabic and five episodes in Nuer and Dinka languages. The drama series follows the daily lives of different young South Sudanese as they face unique challenges while learning how to become peacebuilders in their communities.

In the first season, the audience will meet Rose, a girl who left her rural village with her mother in search of greater opportunities in town. She is determined to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress, despite the hardship of urban life in South Sudan. There is also Winnie, recently returned from America, striving to be accepted back in her home country. Taban, another main character, is a student by day and sells eggs by night to support his family. But he also has ambitions: to find his father, a profession and love.

The dramatic series is based on an educational, peacebuilding curriculum. The curriculum seeks to promote nation-building by empowering South Sudanese youth to be confident, open-minded and participatory citizens in a diverse society. The program also includes opportunities for young listeners to interact with the drama through text messages. Listeners will be invited to respond to questions raised within the episode and send thoughts and feedback on characters and storylines. Listeners can also engage through the Sawa Shabab Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sawa-Shabab-South-Sudan/717190148313708

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Free Voice South Sudan is a non-governmental organization developing media in South Sudan through capacity-building and peer-to-peer relationships with South Sudanese media. Areas of expertise include training, radio programmes production and radio drama production, with experience in all ten states of South Sudan working with radio stations of all types.

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict through nonviolent means. USIP works to save lives, increase the government's ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, DC. To learn more, visit www.usip.org.

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