The global pandemic is making people and societies across the globe face unprecedented challenges to the way they live and work. Access to accurate information is critical in curbing misinformation about COVID-19, helping people understand their individual rights and liberties, and ultimately helping keep themselves safe and prevent the spread of the virus.
Feteh is supporting several citizen outreach activities using different communication channels to reach as many Ethiopians as possible and provide them with proper information related to any legal issues that the pandemic may bring up. Feteh’s subcontractor, ARTS Media (African Renaissance Television Service) produced a documentary on the legal aspects regarding the COVID-19 outbreak in Ethiopia. In this documentary, citizens were asked about situations they face due to COVID-19 which may raise legal issues, which was followed by a discussion with practicing lawyers. The documentary was broadcast on April 18, 2020, and can be watched on YouTube.
Earlier in 2020, Feteh started a radio program called Yene Menged (“My Way”), which addresses issues of human rights and civil liberties. The underlying design behind the weekly show is to breakdown complex legal issues into more manageable concepts, applying these to current legal cases, and allowing its stations 5 to 8 million listeners across the country to weigh in on them in a manner of a judge and jury. More recently, Yene Menged stimulated a public discussion on how human and other rights must be protected during the COVID-19 emergency.
Hosted by Solomon Guangul, who doubles as a practicing lawyer, the weekly programs have been informing listeners about new laws to protect them during the COVID-19 pandemic, which have been enacted to protect people from being evicted from housing or being terminated from their job. Discussion also focuses on addressing myths and misconceptions about the virus. “We’ve gotten feedback from all corners of the country to the center. The acceptance we received from our listeners is beyond our expectation,” says Solomon Guangul.
Visit Feteh’s Facebook Page and tune in to the Yene Menged program.