Vila Pisa Bem: Landmine Love Story - Immediate release

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For immediate release New drama to draw attention to landmines

Maputo, 10 August 2009; A young women returns home to find her village in the midst of a delicate transformation. Then her young brother's disappearance starts a chain of events that turns her whole world upside down. Step into a world of unseen dangers, feel the pain of passion, and find love in the most unlikely places. Welcome to Vila Pisa Bem!

A project of World Without Mines: Mozambique, produced by CMFD (Community Media for Development) Productions, Vila Pisa Bem is a 6-episode serial radio drama to raise awareness and encourage safe behaviours around landmines in Mozambique.

The story is set in a rural community where a demining operation is in progress. A young village woman returning from college for school holidays and a young deminer are the central characters, who find themselves searching for a missing brother. Despite landmine accidents and heavy rains that cut the village off from the main road to town, the two young people and the community "learn about love, dealing with life in a mined community, and the importance of a world without mines."

Mozambique has made great strides in demining much of the country and deaths due to landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) accidents have dropped significantly in recent years. However, there is still work to be done to reduced accidents to zero and ensure rural people have access to much needed land.

"It is crucial that the land is demined because people are not cultivating the fields,” says Madalena Baptista da Silva. “Most of the time, mined fields are fertile land; demining that land would improve the lives of the nearby population and contribute to the alleviation of extreme poverty through ‘land release.’”

The series addresses issues such as safety, lack of access to medical services, the real dangers of demining, high stress levels deminers face, the importance of a community educator, and children’s vulnerability to landmines accidents. The drama theme song, sung by Mozambique’s internationally renowned music group, Eyuphuro, also talks about the desire to reclaim the land from landmines, especially for planting.

“The radio drama is entertaining and informative at the same time,” says CMFD Director and Executive Producer Daniel Walter. “By showing how one community copes with landmines, we hope it will encourage others to be cautious and report any suspicious metal objects, in order for landmines to be safely removed.”

The drama is being broadcast in four languages - Portuguese, Changaana, Sena, and Macua - on 30 community radio stations across the country through the National Community Radio Forum (FORCOM). Reaching out to diverse communities is a big challenge. Each participating radio station will receive a copy of the Portuguese and relevant local dialect versions.

"Some of the information is getting through, but Moçambique is an enormous country where there are still a great percentage of villages with very difficult access, no electricity, no water,” points out Da Silva. “It is difficult to get the information around where it is needed."

Vila Pisa Bem actor Efraime Francisco Nhabomba agrees that the drama can help communities understand potential hazards of landmines. “The communities that suffered from such situations need this type of information.”

For more information:

Madalena Baptista da Silva

World Without Mines
Av. Julius Nyerere, 657- 2º- Porta 4
Maputo, Mozambique
Tel: + 258 82 727 54 27
Fax: +258 21 497 323
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Deborah Walter
CMFD (Community Media for Development) Productions
PO Box 66193, Broadway 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 615 6278
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