It’s Unanimous: Rock Point 256 Best Radio Program of 2010 in Uganda

Rock Point 256, a 30-minute radio serial drama for young people in Uganda, was voted the best radio program of 2010 by readers of the New Vision, the leading daily newspaper in Uganda.

Rock Point 256 tells the story of people who live in a fishing and farming community in Uganda. It follows the storylines of four characters every year. The radio serial is designed to influence the actions of its young listeners by modeling behavior change. It seeks to help young people avoid HIV and unplanned pregnancies, and influence attitudes towards unprotected sex.

The storylines are designed by a team of young Ugandan scriptwriters based on issues identified by the Uganda AIDS Commission and its partners. Over the course of the year, each character changes and adopts more healthy behaviors. Past storylines have included couple HIV counseling and testing, HIV/AIDS stigma among students, multiple concurrent sexual partnerships, violence again women and alcohol abuse.

Now entering its sixth year of production, Rock Point 256 broadcasts weekly on 16 radio stations across Uganda in English and three other local languages. According to surveys conducted by the Center for Communication Programs, more than half the young people in 14 districts of Uganda have listened to the series and one third of listeners tune in regularly.

Rock Point 256 has won both popular and critical acclaim. The radio serial won the 2007 AfriComNet Award for Excellence in HIV and AIDS Communication in the Best Multi-Channel Communication category. It also regularly receives letters from listeners who switch between praising and berating characters for their actions, and commend the show for “help[ing] us to grow as responsible people who know what to do”, as stated by a listener from Naluja.

Rock Point 256 is produced by Y.E.A.H. (Young Empowered and Healthy), with technical assistance from CCP’s Health Communication Partnership, and funding from USAID and PEPFAR. Y.E.A.H was established in 2004 in response to the Uganda AIDS Commission’s call for sustainable and coordinated behavior change communication aimed at reducing the prevalence of HIV and AIDS, adolescent pregnancies and early school leaving among young people.

Y.E.A.H. also produces Rock Point comic books and interactive tools and trains peer educators to use these accompanying tools. Tens of thousands of young people in Uganda have participated in peer-led discussion groups on HIV prevention, alcohol abuse, transactional sex, and other topics.

Learn more about the Health Communication Partnership – Uganda.

Read Rock Point 256 scripts.

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