NGO / Operateur Ressource / Resource   


NGO / Operateur

La Benevolencija Benevolencija RWANDA

Contact : Georges Weiss, CEO Amsterdam - Johan Deflander, Benevolencija Rwanda
Adresse / Address : P.O. Box 15838, NL-1001 NH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
B.P. 7438       Kigali
Tel. : NL: +31-20 616 65 99 ; Rwanda: +250-520 341
Fax. : NL: +31-20 330 81 55 ; Rwanda: +250-520 375
EMail :
Created : 2004 Statut : Privé

Mission Statement : ORIGIN The Stichting Radio La Benevolencija / Humanitarian Tools Foundation was established in Amsterdam in 2002. It is named after the humanitarian organisation La Benevolencija, established by the Jewish Community of Sarajevo, Bosnia. "La Benevolencija" means "good will" in Ladino, the language of the Sephardi (formerly Spanish) Jews, which is also spoken by the Jews of Sarajevo. During the civil war in Bosnia, La Benevolencija acted as a neutral local go-between among the warring factions. It helped over three thousand people escape the city. La Benevolencija set up the only non-ethnic soup kitchen in the city, and contributed up to forty percent of medicine supply to the city of Sarajevo. In doing so, the Sarajevo Jews became the first group of former victims of ethnic violence who used their own national experience to protect and improve the wellbeing of others who found themselves in similar circumstances. In 1994, Austrian film producer George Weiss founded the Dutch foundation Friends of La Benevolencija, based in Amsterdam, to help the Bosnian organisation to do their work. The Dutch Radio Benevolencija (RLB) Foundation, which he founded too, works in the same spirit. The RLB Foundation is devoted to trauma healing, reconciliation and the prevention of violence. It presents knowledge tools to enable individuals at risk to judge and withstand both external pressures (circumstances and manipulation techniques) and heal internal pressures (trauma and frustrasted needs). Using mass communication means (radio, Internet), RLB provides large audiences with an insight into the steps that lead to genocide. In addition, we employ grassroots activities - organized discussion groups - to support our work. The foundation is strictly non-governmental, non-ethnic and non-denominational. It understands its Jewish heritage as symbolic only. PROJECTS One current project of La Benevolencija" is located in Rwanda (see comment here below) Radio Benevolencija Foundation is developing several humanitarian projects in areas of ethnic tension and conflict around the world. We aim to work in, among others, Bosnia, the Middle East, and Gujarrat (India). More information will become available on this webite as these projects are being implemented. Individuals and NGO's currently active in the same field in these areas which are looking for partners to cooperate with, may contact us at

Affiliation :

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Commentaire / Comment.
In Rwanda, the foundation "La Benevolencija" uses two means for its communication strategy: mass media and grassroots activities. These activities are interdependent, with the grassroots' activities reinforcing the radio program messages. Radio Activities: Three types of radio program are being prepared: an ongoing series of educational drama, a limited number of factual radio programs, and, third, a limited number of broadcasts aiming using entertainment, music, poetry, theatre plays and oral history. The first and most used format is "Musekeweya" ("New Dawn" in kinyarwanda), a radio serial drama that entertains and educates to effect postive changes in people's knowledge, intentions and behaviors. The storyline is fictional, but highly realistic in Rwanda. The listeners follow the lives of various radio drama characters, and will understand, in the process, how to prevent violence, how to start the process of reconciliation and how to help trauma victims. They will know that genocide evolves in steps along a continuum of destruction that leads to genocide. The radio soap's target audience is the general population, of which the majority lives in rural areas. Its intended outcome is to trigger and stimulate participation in local discussion groups and trauma healing processes. Special attention will also be given to more vulnerable groups such as women and child-headed households. Some samples (intro and closing jingles) can be listened from the website (using Windows Media Player). The second format called "Kuki" ("why" in kinyarwanda) is a factual journalistic radio program: this series has been produced and aired since October 2004. From 2005, La Benevolencija intends to increase its broadcast output with two new format: a public discussion program and a trauma healing format. Both will complete the initial objectives of the media campaign. All these programs will be aired at the national level via Radio Rwanda (Orinfor - the public broadcasting service), but also via private independent radio broadcasters, like Radio Izuba, Radio Contact, and one national broadcaster in Burundi, Radio Isaganira. The establishment of an interactive Internet website will enhance participation of the Rwandan Diaspora in listening and reacting to all radio broadcasts produced. Grassroots Activities La Benevolencija organises workshops and discussion groups in local communities coinciding with our broadcasts. These activities will reinforce the information conveyed through the radio programs. Listener groups from all over the country check the reception and give their feedback. They act as catalysts to initiate further debate among the population. La Benevolencija is developing a support-toolkit that will help guide the professionals and listener groups in discussing the radio program themes. See also:

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