Radio By Youth For Youth: Achieving Peace through Tolerance

Youth aged 15-29 make up 53% of the adult population of Yemen. Alienation among disaffected, disenfranchised, vulnerable youth is high. Violence, frustration, and civil unrest are the frequent result. With limited job opportunities and few outlets for expression, yet full of potential and talent, young people hunger for opportunities to become active participants in their society, which is critical to Yemen’s stability and future governance.

As the first ever development radio program produced by an NGO and broadcast on national radio, Equal Access is catalyzing a movement for peace, tolerance and good citizenship that reaches youth in both urban cities and the most isolated villages across Yemen. Our innovative by youth for youth radio program “Ma’an Leenkon Alafdal” (Let’s Be the Best Together), engages and empowers youth across Yemen to solve problems and positively direct their own lives while fostering a community of young people promoting tolerance. The concept of a show featuring youth is new in Yemen. The voices of young women and men from across the country expressing youth perspectives and concerns have never been featured as the central voice of a radio program. The show’s writers and producers, all of whom are also youth, produce an informative and entertaining program that includes discussions, listener perspectives, interviews with scholars and religious leaders, mini-dramas, music, and poetry. Let’s Be the Best Together reaches a national audience through broadcasts on five governorate-level local radio stations as well as through medium-wave transmission on Radio Sana’a and Radio Aden, reaching an estimated 4.2 million youth.

In addition to this unique youth radio series, Equal Access implements complementary outreach activities in six governorates. Working with our local partner organization SOUL, we have trained more than 300 youth in leadership, facilitation, and life skills. Those talented youth have in turn mobilized their peers, forming listening discussion groups that meet weekly to listen to the radio series and discuss how they can apply the themes of the program to their own lives.

The key activities of the outreach program include:

  • Training 300 youth in leadership skills, group mobilization, and facilitation skills
  • Training professional journalists in communications for social change
  • 3,000 youth meeting weekly in listening discussion groups
  • Youth-led roundtables on human rights, peace, tolerance and good governance

Success Story

Learning Dialogue and Self-Acceptance