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VOA Weekly Programming Highlights: September 14, 2022

VOA Program Helps Rwandan-Belgian Woman Reunite with Sister

After 52 years of searching, a woman was reunited with her sister in Tanzania through VOA’s Kinyarwanda show, "Agasaro Kaburaga." At the end of the Belgian colonial period (before independence), children born from Belgian fathers and Rwandan mothers were immediately separated from their mothers and placed in orphanages. Helene Schmidt, now 72, was one of them. At 10, she was sent to Belgium. “I have shed all the tears, now I am happy,” Schmidt told VOA. “I have spent 50 years looking for my family, no one was able to help me, but you did.”

Value-Added Coverage of Human Rights Violations in Ukraine War Engages Audience

VOA Ukrainian’s coverage of human rights violations in Ukraine, featuring exclusive interviews with State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel, team lead for investigations of atrocities stemming from Russia’s invasion Eli Rosenbaum, and top DOJ prosecutor in the special investigation Christian Levesque, generated wide interest garnering more than 290,000 views and thousands of interactions on social media, as well as at least seven reprints in Ukrainian media. Patel spoke about the forced relocation of Ukrainians, and Rosenbaum and Levesque commented on the progress in investigating Russia’s crimes, as well as U.S., EU and Ukrainian authorities' coordination in identifying such crimes and holding perpetrators accountable. Coverage also included VOA Russian’s live simultaneous translation of UNGA discussions on Russia’s forced displacement of civilians in Ukraine.

VOA Deewa Coverage of 9/11 Anniversary Engages the Audience

VOA Deewa produced a special live one-hour TV program with live hits from Pentagon, New York Ground Zero and the VOA headquarters, and streamrf live on FB, YouTube and the service's website. Among numerous guests who spoke to VOA on the 21st anniversary of al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. soil, included Shinkai Karokhel, a former member of Afghan Parliament, who offered warnings about increased dangers despite the killing of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, while columnist Dr. Muhammad Taqi commented on the potential ramifications of the departure of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The special program generated 23,000 views and 1,000 reactions on Facebook.

VOA Persian’s Coverage of the Commemorative Ceremonies for 9/11 Victims Resonates with Audience

VOA Persian’s special coverage of the ceremonies commemorating the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania included Behnam Nateghi's reporting from New York on Vice President Kamala Harris' remarks at the ceremony to mark the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks; Kambiz Tavana's coverage of the ceremony at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and President Biden’s remarks; and Siamak Dehghanpour's reporting of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' speech at a 9/11 memorial ceremony in Herzliya, Israel. This coverage generated more than 593,570 engagement actions on all digital platforms.

VOA Mandarin Provides Wide-Ranging Coverage of Upcoming CCP National Congress

Mandarin’s in-depth, original reporting of the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress next month got off to a flying start. The service's expert analysis of articles published by a state-run institution alone generated 64,000 total views instantly. Observers said they believe the articles - promoting subjects like the Ming dynasty's closed-door policies, the Boxer Rebellion and Mao's class struggle doctrine - were deliberately chosen to further dismantle the Deng Xiaoping-style liberalization agenda, as Xi Jinping prepares to consolidate power as party general secretary for an unprecedented third term.

Foreign Policy Group Highlights Work of VOA News Center Reporter

The Women’s Foreign Policy Group, in its September newsletter, spotlights News Center reporter Natalie Liu for her work covering diplomatic affairs in Washington over the past several years. A recent article by Liu about what has become of the defenders of Mariupol, who surrendered after a heroic standoff in that city’s steel plant, was posted on both Twitter and Telegram by the Association of Azovstal Defenders’ Families. The Association’s press officer and a former commander of the Azov Regiment retweeted Natalie’s tweets about the story. It was also republished or cited by Krapni (Ukraine); RNBO (UK); and Philippines News.

VOA Programming Highlights are compiled based on information available from multiple sources at the time of posting. This information constantly evolves. If you intend to cite to information posted in VOA Highlights, please consult VOA Public Relations at to ensure it is accurate and current.