Red Mobile cinema Burundi_screen_365Cross National Societies in Burundi and Rwanda are using The Story of Cholera and the teaching power of video to reach vulnerable communities with key information on the prevention of diseases like cholera and malaria.

According to Sharon Reader, “Both countries launched mobile cinema and radio programmes last year as a means of community mobilisation and education. The cinema is an interactive activity that uses film and community debate to engage people in learning about safe practices.The activities also encourage feedback and participation from communities, giving valuable insight into the challenges people face and how the Red Cross can better help them.”

Nearly 10,000 people have attended a Red Cross mobile cinema show in Burundi, as of April 2014. The cinema focused on cholera prevention. Sharon said: “The cinema was also a key tool in the Red Cross response following devastating floods in the capital in February, when it was used to help prevent outbreaks of water borne diseases amongst displaced people.”

In Rwanda, about 2,000 people have attended the Red Cross cinema show. The focus there has been on the promotion of good hygiene, as well as malaria prevention.

Mobile cinema Burundi_audience_365The cinema makes it “so easy for people to grasp the information”says Yvonne Kabagire, head of communications, Rwanda Red Cross.“Peoples’ reactions have been great. Nobody likes to be lectured, but with cinema everyone gets a chance to be involved and participate in the show – and it’s a chance for us to find out what they think and their level of knowledge.”

During 2014, the cinema and radio programs will be expanded into new areas to reach thousands more people in both countries. This will ensure that “communities have the knowledge they need to stay safe and healthy, as well as providing a channel to feedback critical information to the Red Cross about their problems and needs.”

Source:  Information and photos provided by Sharon Reader, Beneficiary Communications Delegate, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.