Ni Nyampinga: Empowering Girls in Rwanda through Radio
Ni Nyampinga is a Rwandan radio program run by Search for Common Ground which is aimed at empowering young girls through a creative, inspirational outlet.
About Your Organization
Search for Common Ground
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Established (past the previous stages and has demonstrated success)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
While Rwanda has made vast strides in development since it was plagued with conflict in the 1990s, there is still a lack of female empowerment present. Young girls in particular in Rwanda often lack the confidence and power that their male counterparts possess, which hinders them from growing and feeling visible in society. Thus, there is a great need to equip this vulnerable population with the tools necessary to become proactive participants in both their country’s future as well as their own. By empowering women, Rwanda’s population will gain movers and shakers necessary for the country to develop and grow.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
In an effort to generate gender equality to promote development in Rwanda, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) established a radio program called Ni Nyampinga, which targets girls ages 10 through 19 nationwide. Originally launched in 2008 as Urungano (“New Generation”), Ni Nyampinga was renamed in December 2011. Nyampinga means “miss” in Kinyarwanda, the national language, and refers to a female role model that is well-rounded, proactive, and promotes the potential for women to end poverty. Reflecting this term, the radio program works to empower and encourage girls to find their voices. Radio is the most popular and readily-available source of information in Rwanda, and Ni Nyampinga is taking advantage of this format to forge a space where girls can gather positive qualities and become leaders.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Each week, Ni Nyampinga is aired for thirty minutes on five different radio stations nationwide. It is designed like a live magazine meant to open up channels of communication for girls, with each episode comprised of a variety of materials and formats. The show includes culture, health topics, advice, and individual stories. Roundtable discussions, field reporting, and one-on-one interviews are utilized throughout each episode to cover a particular theme through multiple perspectives. Additionally, the show encourages listeners to call in to ask questions and provide opinions so they can exercise their voices and feel as though they are heard.
In charge of each episode is a team of twelve girls, between the ages of 17 and 22, that take on the roles of presenter, reporter, researcher, and editor. The program benefits from girls leading because listeners identify them as their peers, therefore enhancing the legitimacy of the program. Additionally, by putting girls in charge of the ideas and what should be discussed, the program goes right to the source to determine what will strike a chord in the target population. Finally, as proactive leaders of a national radio program, the girls inspire their listenership to become proactive leaders themselves.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
There are no other radio programs broadcast throughout Rwanda that target this same population. Other radio programming is focused on disseminating news, music, and sports information to the general population. Ni Nyampinga is therefore the only program which focuses not only on girls, but also on empowering them. While there are organizations throughout the country that are focused on the same objective of strengthening female youth capacity, in actuality they benefit SFCG’s own efforts given the end goals are shared. The only challenge these organizations could pose would be if they established radio programs that directly compete with Ni Nyampinga.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Ni Nyampinga is a Rwandan radio program run by SFCG which is aimed at empowering young girls through a creative, inspirational outlet.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Ni Nyampinga is hosted by young females, whom are members of the target population, therefore maximizing effectiveness.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Though the program is now operating under a different name, called Ni Nyampinga rather than Urungano, there is still a strong listenership nationwide. Awareness of the new name is beginning to build, and the amount of call-ins is beginning to increase. This suggests that girls feel the program is worth listening to because it provides important and useful information. Furthermore, because the program is linked to a new magazine, also called Ni Nyampinga which covers similar topics, the program is gaining listeners who have been introduced to the magazine. This dual strategy reaches more girls, thus yielding greater awareness and success. The high interest expressed by the target population in the program indicates that the efforts of Ni Nyampinga are vital and valuable.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
As the girls who comprise the listener base get older with the program, we expect that the ideals promoted in the program will become ingrained within them, in turn enticing them to take action and put what they have learned into practice. Additionally, as Ni Nyampinga gains reputability, we anticipate being able to delve into deeper subjects that may be considered too taboo for girls to discuss with their peers. As an outlet for this type of subject matter, Ni Nyampinga will be able to break barriers that currently prevent girls from understanding various issues and confronting them head-on.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
An issue which may act as a barrier to the success of the project is donor funding. The original program, Urungano, ran out of funding, which brought the project to a standstill. While it was picked up again and restructured by Girl Hub, there is always the potential of funds running out. This can be overcome by continuing to promote the program so that its effects can be widely seen, thereby indicating the necessity of the funds. SFCG will conduct periodic evaluations which measure program success and will be presented to the donor to signify accomplishment and future growth.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Listeners assume ownership of determining the majority of the discussion topics and themes each week for Ni Nyampinga.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Conduct discussion groups at schools to ask girls for their feedback and encourage them to be proactive with participation.
Go beyond cities and towns to rural areas in order to interview and hold discussion groups with a wider base.
Organize competitions that test knowledge of the program, meant to entice girls to listen more frequently in order to compete.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Gather a strong, loyal listenership and garner respect throughout the entire population, in addition to the target population.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Continue to hold competitions and give prizes to those that possess extensive knowledge of the program to encourage loyalty.
Continue to brainstorm ideas with young girls in areas across the country so they feel as though they are contributors.
Conduct an evaluation that measures the success of the program and the percentage of viewers across the country.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
The solution came out of a brainstorming session by the Search for Common Ground Rwandan team, which aimed to find a way to discuss the challenges and conflicts affecting young girls. When searching for tools that could ensure the implementation of a project on a large scale, it was determined that radio programming would be the most effective in achieving this. Furthermore, radio programming can be both a serious and fun source of information, which gives it mass appeal. Urungano was thus born out of the desire to create a safe, comfortable outlet that had previously not existed for girls to discuss issues directly affecting them. Ni Nyampinga subsequently developed from this, taking the concept of radio programming for girls a step further in an attempt to broaden the subjects covered and enhance effectiveness.
Tell us about your partnerships
SFCG has partnered with Girl Hub on Ni Nyampinga, an initiative that works to ensure girls are directly involved in the design and implementation of the programs that affect them. The partnership includes a constant flow of information, actions, and results so that the different portions of Ni Nyampinga align. The radio portion run by SFCG and the magazine portion run by Girl Hub are meant to complement one another in order to maximize effectiveness.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
The team that is focused on both sustaining and growing Ni Nyampinga consists of 12 girls that design and host each episode, the SFCG producer who coordinates all activities, and the staff at Girl Hub that meet with the SFCG Ni Nyampinga team once a week to ensure progress. Additionally, evaluators will be utilized to conduct evaluations in order to determine growth milestones are achieved.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
The most vital way Ni Nyampinga can be supported is through collaboration. By coordinating with other initiatives that possess a similar objective of empowering girls, the project can continue to expand and become more effective. SFCG is eager to forge mutually beneficial partnerships that will enhance opportunities to achieve development and gender equality.