When fighting
broke out last December in South Sudan, our radio team were among the thousands
who had to flee the conflict. After what were a few very difficult months,
we’re all back in Juba and our health radio shows
and Life
In Lulu
went back on
air in March. But the conflict has left its mark on us all – and, of course,
changed our programmes too.

Once most of
our production team managed to return to Juba - from Kenya, Uganda and other
parts of South Sudan - the first thing we had to think about was how to make
the programmes meet the changed needs of our audiences.

For example,
we had to sit down and think of the most effective ways of reaching the
hundreds of thousands – mostly women and children – now living in the UN PoC
(Protection of Civilians) camps.

How do you
inform and entertain audiences who are experiencing such difficulties? 

Music and

that people are desperate for high-quality entertainment as well as reliable
information has been key. 

We have,
therefore, remained committed to keeping our drama programme, Life In Lulu, on
air – and adapted the storylines to reflect the conflict.

We’ve also brought
Life in Lulu together into the same slot as our magazine show, Our Tukul,
so that both shows complement each other even more than before. 

Plus we’ve
commissioned songs to provide an easy and entertaining way for people to
remember important health information.

Last year, we
worked with South Sudanese artists like J2Guyz, Meer Matthew
and CJ Oman to record songs about the impact of early
marriage and what to do to stop the preventable deaths of babies. 

This time
around, we focused on three urgent issues facing both our audiences in the
camps and those who managed to stay in their homes: diarrhoea, malaria and the
importance of hand washing

We spoke to
J2Guyz and they composed music for the lyrics written by our team. (Listen
to the songs on Sound Cloud

New mistrust

Sadly, since
the fighting started, gathering interviews for Our Tukul has become more

People tell us
that they have lost trust in the media in South Sudan. They think the media
always takes the side of the government and are scared that their words will be

One mother
told us, “You media people, we tell you our views and if it’s against the
government you don’t broadcast it. But if it fills your needs, you do.” 

We now have to
work harder to explain how our programme focuses on health issues for mothers
and their children – and that by telling their story, people can help others
and change their lives. 

Urgent need 

What drives
the Our Tukul team is that now more than ever we need to inform people
about how best to keep mothers and babies healthy.

There are many
people here who do not know what will happen to them tomorrow – people like one
pregnant mother I met recently, who, together with her three children has no
home to shelter from the current rainy season in South Sudan. She told me she
doesn’t know what to do when her delivery time comes.  

If we can give
information which helps such a pregnant mother to plan – in even the smallest
way – for tomorrow, we will have made a small difference.

Related links

blogs from South Sudan

The Our
Tukul songs on SoundCloud


Media Action’s work in South Sudan

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Media Action