Jean was 2 years old when violence devastated his home. Hate radio fueled the Rwandan genocide as one ethnic group pierced the airwaves with commands to exterminate the other, calling them "cockroaches."
But today, we're taking radio back -- using it to reconcile countries broken apart by hate and violence.
At 21, Jean began arguing with his neighbor, Vianney, over the boundary between their farm lands. Their different ethnic backgrounds intensified their suspicion. "I used to go to my land ready to fight," Jean confesses, "and [Vianney] was always armed with a machete."
Jean & Vianney
But every week, Jean listens to We Are One, a radio program Search for Common Ground created to address the issues still dividing Rwandans. We Are One inspired Jean to make peace with Vianney before their conflict turned violent. "I listened to the radio program and realized that our conflict was useless," Vianney, a father of two, says. "Today, I understand the significance of being together as one. Reconciliation is really needed in order to live peacefully with neighbors."
Jean and Vianney made peace, and now they're making a living. They've decided to rent a third plot of land to farm together.
February 13th is World Radio Day, and we're celebrating the difference our radio programs make every day for people like Jean and Vianney, their children, and their community. Radio is still the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide. Our radio programs touch even the most remote places, villages without electricity or running water. We broadcast a message of peace to 72 million people every year.
Join us in spreading life-changing radio messages to people like Jean and Vianney.