My Western Chimpanzee – My Community
(Liberia, Sierra Leone)

The following issues will be incorporated into the radio serial drama, radio magazine, and community action campaigns: hunting, commercial logging and mining, and encroachment for farming. The serial drama is central to the messaging of the program. An entertaining storyline (approx. 70%) will be augmented with educational content (30%) to motivate attitude and behavior change with regard to biodiversity conservation, Western Chimpanzees, and sustainable management.

Because the drama is rooted in values – or desired changes – and local experiences, the plot will touch on a variety of social issues while seeking to affect change in behaviors related to the direct threats impacting Western Chimpanzees and natural resources. Additionally, the drama will role model desired positive behaviors, and may include a storyline about the return of the high number of citizens who fled during the civil war and who are impacting the chimpanzee habitats—reflecting local life and viable options for local communities seeking to implement the changes promoted in the drama.

Formative research will help shape the program contents and emphases. Four pilot episodes will be developed, pretested, and revised based on the findings from additional research and on-going audience monitoring. Once these adjustments to the pilot episodes are completed, production of the remaining episodes will commence. Broadcasting will begin once two month’s worth of programming has been recorded and edited, and marketing efforts fully initiated.

The program employs a multi-pronged communications approach to motivate social change. The program will create a 16 to 24-episode Entertainment-Education radio serial drama to weave together relevant information on Western Chimpanzees with a compelling story modeling desired attitudes and behaviors that will reduce threats to chimpanzee populations. Two radio magazines (one in Sierra Leone, one in Liberia) will also be included in production and two community action campaigns (one per country) will be held. It is estimated that at least 25,000 chimpanzees have disappeared in this region during the last 60 years. Two coalitions, one in Sierra Leone and one in Liberia, will drive production of the radio drama, including local language translations/adaptations, and support the multi-tiered public awareness activities, including Radio Magazines and Community Action Campaigns. The audience will include the communities living near chimpanzee habitats in Liberia and Sierra Leone and government agencies responsible for chimpanzee and forest conservation.

The radio drama will be produced in English with translated adaptation versions to broadcast in Krio and Mende. To reach the target audience in and around the Gola Forest and Tiwai Island area in Sierra Leone, the program coalition plans to broadcast the radio program on Kiss 104 and SLBC, which has coverage in most of the southern and eastern provinces. Most of the residents speak Mende, Kissi, Sherbro, and Kono languages with Krio being the main local language.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA)
Government of Sierra Leone
Government of Liberia

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