Radio Encourages Chief to Alter his Hard-Line Approach to Girls’ Education

February 10, 2023 10:02 am

Mr Abraham is the chief of Wungier Village in Warrap State. For many years, he was against sending girls to school because he believed that their purpose was to be married off to generate wealth for their families through the bride price, which is a customary practice in South Sudan.  

He has six daughters and four sons. Four of his daughters are already married. Last year, he refused to send his two unmarried daughters to school and could not afford to send his sons either. They stayed at home helping with domestic chores.  

Abraham’s exposure to GESS came through the Community Mobilisation Volunteer (CMV) in 2022. The CMV reached out to his village to engage members of his community to listen to ‘Our School’ factual radio programme on solar-wind-up radios. Like some of his community members, Abraham took part in listening to Our School at his family and engaged in the community dialogue at the community level.  

Our Schoolis a 15-minute magazine-style programme targeting girls, their parents, community leaders and teachers to build positive knowledge, supportive attitudes, and behaviours around access to education for girls and children with disabilities. It is broadcast on 28 partner stations across South Sudan. To reach a wider proportion of the population, GESS’ CMVs target communities with no radio coverage and/or communities that speak a different language from the broadcasts, to reinforce attitudes and behaviours featured in the radio programmes. When COVID-19 safety guidelines on physical distancing were put in place, GESS adapted to family listening groups, allowing family members to sit together in a safe environment to listen to the pre-recorded radio programmes. Family listening groups were found to be very effective and have continued, despite the removal of physical distancing measures. 


Abraham and his family were listening to the Our School’ radio programme using the radios given to them by the CMV. He said that his family members were “so excited listening to the radio programme”. According to him, they listened to the radio programme about the importance of girls’ education; saving money for children with disabilities; how to re-enrol children in school; teachers’ support; and what parents should be doing when sending children to school in times of crisis. He said that listening to such programmes is very important as they learned a lot about how to support their children’s education, both boys and girls.  

“Now [my children and I], no other children were graduating from schools and getting jobs with which, they support their families, but we are not benefiting,” said Abraham, as he was advising his daughter to join a school, convincing her that it’s not too late to become somebody. 

“Now I have learnt that education will help us out in the future. I am ready to take care of them in school so they can finish their primary and secondary (education) and university studies. I will continue with my listening groups with the radio programme and guide my daughters and provide them with all the required needs in their studies, like school uniforms and other materials. I thank the organisation that provided me with this radio to listen to these programmes”.

  Abraham promised to start saving money so that he can fully support his sons and daughters.  

Evidence has shown that awareness of the importance of girls’ education alone is not enough; rather, there needs to be a process of behavioural, practical and social change. By mid-2022, GESS had reached 1,505 school communities with community mobilisation, delivering critical messages on the importance of education for all.  

To learn more about GESS’ behaviour change activities, go here: Behaviour Change Communication : Girls’ Education South Sudan ( 

To listen to some of the radio programmes and the read the scripts, go here: 

Radio Programmes : Girls’ Education South Sudan ( 


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