Our Impact

The positive impact we have on the lives of vulnerable women and girls in rural communities makes us proud. 

  • We have enabled women and girls to expose and refuse to abide by harmful, traditional myths and have paved the way for open discussions about FGM in rural areas – often, for the first time. 
  • We have helped women learn about and receive treatment for breast cancer and fistula. 
  • Our field staff have emerged as trusted authorities in their communities, leading to the prosecution of abusers by the police. 
  • We have trained 75 women and men in rural areas in human rights advocacy skills, providing a source of income and pride not previously available to them. 
  • We have changed reluctant minds about family planning and supported wives and husbands in accessing those services. 
  • We employ talented, female journalists and provide a platform for women’s voices in a heavily male- dominated, media industry. 
  • We quickly adapted our operations to address COVID-19, delivering critical information from the earliest stages of the virus. This has significantly expanded our reach. 
  • We support and strengthen local CSOs and CBOs and work with traditional authorities to ensure that they take ownership of our program approach. 

Our two main metrics are audience appreciation and broadcast reach. From June to December 2019, over 27,000 rural listeners attended MMW-SL Listening Centres, with month-on-month growth in direct listener counts in every region. In addition, our podcasts are broadcast to over 55,000 listeners throughout Sierra Leone on both national and community radio stations.  For the first three months of Covid-19 our listenership reached 120,000+, with 40% males.

We observe significant engagement among our listeners with our podcasts resulting in more girls at school, greater understanding of sexual and reproductive health issues, and less teen pregnancies in the rural communities where we work.  Our drama series, “Mamie and Omo,” features two fictional female characters portrayed by two of our journalists. It is our most popular program. Listeners can easily self-identify with one or the other character. They hear their own opinions defended in the discussion, but also opposing opinions, and learn in an enjoyable way about rights, health, and services they may not otherwise know about.

MMW is a data-driven organization—since inception our monitoring and evaluation program has performed an essential role in assessing feedback to our podcast information in the communities we serve.  Data drives our future operations and helps determine the subject matter of our podcasts and our expansion into new communities.   While increasing the number of listeners to MMW podcasts is important, our outputs will be evidenced by the information we receive regarding how women and girls self-initiate changes to the lives because of hearing MMW podcasts.  Do young girls choose to remain in school after hearing MMW podcasts on the importance of education?  Do rural women who once consciously tolerated domestic abuse seek help when they learn from MMW that services are available to help them live in safety?  Does the infant mortality rate in a single village decrease when women and girls learn about maternal healthcare and choose modern medicine over traditional faith healers when giving birth? 

MMW gathers both hard data as well as personal accounts from women and girls who have benefitted from hearing MMW podcasts.  While this information generally illustrates the immediate effect MMW’s work on individual listeners, assessing the impact on entire communities takes much longer.  However, MMW is beginning to see positive impact.  Rural women who have heard our podcasts on domestic violence have courageously shared the podcasts with their husbands and the information has led to a greater interest and understanding by males of issues impacting women and the need to respect women’s rights.  Mothers have listened to podcasts on human trafficking and shared the information with their husbands and daughters, educating a new generation of women on ways to avoid this horrible situation.  MMW provides information (such as our work during the Ebola and COVID-19 crises) that serves to spur immediate action by listeners.  However, the most meaningful change we impart is one that encourages women and girls to be their own best advocates for their well-being—and to pass those advocacy skills on to the next generation they inspire.