Please watch this video to see how a little boy became an agent of change.
I find that if people are made aware of the dynamics of a thing, they are better informed, better empowered to make a change (as men and women in the society) or influence legislation (as leaders).
In this idea, we would begin with using a television soap to tell interesting, melodramatic stories to address the following:
- Its negativity
- Factors that might influence it (the content of the screen play should be from research done in individual communities/societies). For example in some places, physically disabled women are more prone to rape.
- People's emotion to the concept of "rape", either as a distant concept or when affecting them directly e.g a friend or family member.
- Stigmatization of rape victims and silence, sometimes acceptance of "forced coitus".
- Encouraging positive habits and lifestyle in the following:
- to encourage female friends and sisters who have been through rape.
- to serve as positive role models (friends and advisers) to girls who may be indecently dressed, instead of molesters amd marauders.
- to project a positive image for male role models, even in a society that discourages it.
- encourage education among women and ladies,so that when they are empowered and exposed, they will be able to rise out of low-income areas, and even empowered to educate others.
- encourage community spirit among women
- To subtly make clear to the government, the need to reduce corruption in society and in legislation
- Increase the information on human rights available to the massess.
POINTS TO NOTE
The soap opera should be made engaging, interesting, exciting and insightful. it also requires near-perfect or perfect planing, so as not to loose the interesting flavor found in notable soap operas popular in certain communities in the world; especially as enjoyed in those regions of high population of low income communities.
The stories of the soap, should be gotten from 5 - 6 societies of the world e.g. Asia, Africa, N & S America, Australia, Europe, Middle East, targetted at individualized communities with highest prevalence of rape (if data is available). The TV series be innthe local dialect of 20 select communities (5 in each society), it should be subtitled also for viewing and to aid comprehension in the rotated societies.
After the soap is produced, it should be televised rotationally to target regions. for example, a telemundo soap (Sponsored by OpenIDEO and produced by this community) set in Brazil, S.America (and subtitled in english or hausa) televised in Nigeria, Africa; and a soap set in Nigeria and televised in Brazil. This will cause epeople to see that the problem of rape is not peculiar to them, it would give people a global perspective of this ill, cause them to begin to ask questions and they could learn the factors in other communities that influence rape, and also learn how other communities handle it.They could pick up 1 or 2 solutions that could be used in their own country.
Television stations easily accesible in low income urban areas should be patronized by the production team of the Soap -"TURN UP THE VOLUME!!!"
OpenIDEO can sponsor about 20 viewing centres in the low-income urban areas of the 5 - 6 societies, strategically located too, especially when the soaps become popular in demand.
The airing of the soap should last about 5 years, to ensure that the spirit of the media image we are trying to ingrain, is truly and properly done.
Why do I think it might succeed?
The media has taken the place of a demi-god, it sets rules and standards that people unknowingly follow and adhere to. Lets us use this to our advantage to propagate a public common good. People, now, watch more television than ever before. However, one thing still plays to our advantage (as we have noted on the Challenge brief video), because of the high population density of low-income urban areas, lots of people still meet at bus stops, in the market place, at the salon, at the pubs, barbers salon, and they still talk face en face, and discuss matters arising (as opposed to having virtual conversation with friends on facebook)
I have watched my mother drive her car to a TV station to watch soap opera directly from the source simply because our electricity went off and our generator wouldn't come on. I have watched people passing by each other stop for 10 minutes and discuss a favorite soap, especially if they missed an episode, and would repeat this till they get the full gist of the missed episode. I have watched people's mindsets change as they are sucked into the melodrama of a soap. I have wartched people cry and go without food because they were saddened by a soap.
The question now is, "what next?". After drawing out peoples emotions, what next? We are not only drawing out emotions, we are providing knowledge, with knowlegde comes empowerment and with empowerment comes change.
What questions do I have for the community?
1. How do we plan a soap opera that talks about real life issues and yet remains die-hard, interesting amd captivating, like some Telemundos from Brazil i know?
2. How do we pick which 5 societies to base the soap on?
3. How do we rotate the soap? Bi-annually or monthly (any other options)?
4. How long will the soap last? Because there are other societal ills prevalent in low income urban areas that affect safety, aside from rape.
5. How can we use the radio stations to broadcast the soaps, for areas where televisions are not prevalent.