Children and their caregivers will now have a new opportunity to continue learning and build their social-emotional skills from the safety and convenience of their homes and communities with the launch of Dunga, a new 20-part radio show focused on helping children learn through play. The show will premiere in December on Radio Kwizera in Tanzania in Swahili, Kirundi and French and Mighty Fire FM and Arua One FM in Uganda, in Bari, Juba Arabic, Acholi and English.

Dunga will be hosted by the character Mama Viazi, a loving and charismatic woman who runs a food stall that is the epicenter of children’s adventures and learning in a local village. Over the course of each episode, Mama Viazi will engage in playful and educational activities with a group of children – these activities have been designed to encourage interaction and participation for children and caregivers listening at home or in community groups. Each episode will focus on a specific skill or subject area and will include songs, stories and games. A growing body of evidence underscores that playful learning helps children develop their personal resilience, problem-solving skills and other capacities, which become even more important as they grow older.

Dunga is being produced as part of the IRC’s Play Well initiative, a resource designed to promote learning through play during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially for children without reliable access to remote or in-person education, Play Well provides critical support for social-emotional learning and serves to complement standard academic learning. Play Well’s efforts in East Africa and elsewhere build upon the IRC’s innovative, evidence-based approach and expertise in designing and implementing educational content tailored to specific humanitarian contexts. By deploying that expertise to create joyful, engaging distance learning materials, Play Well will continue as a focal point of the IRC’s broader education in emergencies relief work.

Listen for yourself: Episode One in English and French.


Listen – Play – Learn!