Sawa Shebab, A Peacebuilding Radio Drama for Youth in South Sudan


Sawa Shebab, A Peacebuilding Radio Drama for Youth in South Sudan

Project Summary

Sawa Shabab (Youth Together) is a peacebuilding radio drama series for the youth of South Sudan.

Problem Addressed

Lack of peaceful co-existence and national identity, the need for meaningful youth empowerment and the high degree of gender inequality in all areas of life.


The show has national reach via partner radio stations. The studio and production takes place in Juba, Central Equatoria.

Key Communities

The show reaches, and aims to speak to, all communities.


2014 - ongoing

Other actors

Free Voice, USIP, Radio Miraya, Catholic Radio Network, local stations.

Akobo Lou-Jikany Image

Project Description

The series’ curriculum focuses on three main goals, identified by local experts as critical to building peace in South Sudan.

  • To promote peaceful co-existence among South Sudanese youth from different cultural and tribal orientations.
  • To create the foundations of peacebuilding by empowering South Sudanese youth to be accountable, independent and participatory citizens of society.
  • To promote peaceful and democratic growth in society by fostering an understanding of gender equality.

Throughout the radio drama we learn how the characters become peace builders in their communities. Youth are invited to share their thoughts and experiences online through the Sawa Shabab Facebook fan page as well as via Twitter (@SawaShabab) and via an SMS service.

Key Lessons

Radio remains the only truly mass communications device in South Sudan and must form part of behaviour change initiatives aimed at scale.

Combining radio, SMS and grassroots peace mobilisation across the country is a powerful mix that produces a strong sense of ownership by wide audiences.

South Sudan has strong creative and production talent in story telling, scriptwriting and production.

It is critial to produce radio content in multiple languages to ensure relevance and reach.

Quotes from People Involved

I like Sawa Shabab because it connects all of the youth together across South Sudan” - Youth Outreach Mobiliser, Juba

I really got encouraged when I got involved in texting and telephoning with the Sawa Shabab staff. This makes me to work hard and be more involved in the youth activities.” - Youth Outreach Mobiliser, Wau

What's Next?

Sawa Shabab consists of 20 episodes in English and Arabic and five episodes in Nuer and Dinka languages and will be aired on Radio Miraya, the Catholic Radio Network and other local stations across the country. The program is currently drafting a third series.

Young South Sudanese inside and outside of the country are encouraged to engage with the Sawa Shabab program, and to feed in ideas for future work. So get in touch via the Sawa Shabab Facebook fan page & on Twitter (@SawaShabab).


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Featured Case Studies

Sawa Shebab

Sawa Shabab (Together Youth) series is produced locally by Free Voice South Sudan in collaboration with the United States Institute of Peace and the Peace Tech Lab, to promote peace and stability by empowering youth to be confident, open-minded and participatory citizens in a diverse society.

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