Equal access to power, health care, education, justice and natural resources ensures that people can participate in society and thus achieve their ambitions. Unfortunately, in many contexts, the practice is different. Women, young people and ethnic minorities especially are mostly excluded from decision-making processes. Moreover, they do not have the opportunities or knowledge to stand up for their rights and needs. Their voices are not heard.
Piloting partnerships to create change
Through the Every Voice Counts (EVC) programme, which is implemented in 6 countries worldwide, CARE aims to make sure that these voices will be heard. However, due to restrictive circumstances, amplifying the voices of young people cannot always be done through traditional advocacy and media engagement initiatives. To be able to achieve the programme objectives on youth engagement, a new and different approach is necessary for countries where civic space is shrinking and where traditional media channels are highly restrictive.
This is where RNW media comes in. RNW Media focuses on young people aged between 15 and 30 who live in fragile or repressive states that are usually going through civil unrest and conflict. These young people often represent the majority of their country’s population, yet they’re ignored and denied crucial information and services. They want to speak freely, have conversations about what matters to them – both personally and politically – and find the information they need to make their own choices about their future.
CARE and RNW media, through training with RNTC on Persuasive Storytelling for Digital Campaigning for CARE country staff, are piloting our partnership in Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan. During the training, CARE staff created an action plan, as part of the basis for campaigns to be implemented in the regions. The campaigns have a specific objective: To promote engagement of young people that leads to positive changes in their attitudes and beliefs related to influencing formal and informal decision making processes.
Media campaigns for development and social change
The creative approach and media formats are tailored to suit different country contexts. These include digital platforms and traditional ones such as radio. Together with CARE partner offices in Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan, RNTC media training is enabling the voices and views of women, and young people to be heard by decision-makers.
Via media campaigns which focus on challenging social norms, NGO staff and media partners promote the rights and needs of marginalised groups. The training participants learn how to integrate their advocacy and to lobby with campaigns that empower young male and female role models and enable them to stand up for their rights. The campaign calls to action carried via broadcast and social media aim at calling the government and other authorities to be accountable and support truly inclusive governance.
The training and coaching sessions focus on the technical aspects of media work and connect with the expertise CARE staff and their NGO partners have already developed in the fields of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and women's rights. Through participating in events and involvement in integrated campaigns, excluded groups in the focus countries are supported to actively and effectively influence decisions that affect their lives.