Communicating with children

Middle years

Meena: Dividing the Mango Animated series, Meena Communication Initiative (ongoing), UNICEF

Episode from a series about a 9-year-old girl from South Asia, promoting the status of girls and child rights. Meena and her younger brother learn about equality and fairness when they exchange roles with each other for a day. Using humour and child-appropriate images and emotions to portray everyday discrimination against girls, Meena’s mother and grandmother recognize the need to feed girls and boys equally, and adults see that both have the same physical and learning needs. (Qualitative research was part of the Meena Initiative.) <www.unicef.org/rosa/media_2479.htm>

Themes: gender equality, child rights, nutrition

 

Landmine Injury Reduction Education Animated television spot, 2005, produced by UNICEF Iraq

The story of two Iraqi boys playing with a kite, modelling positive behaviour in the presence of landmines or unexploded ordnances (UXO), in a child-like and developmentally appropriate situation and with appropriate information and correct behaviours.

Themes: child survival, child protection, emergencies

 

   
   

What Makes Me Happy Short live-action drama series, 2006/2007, produced by Ragdoll Foundation in cooperation with Save the Children, UK

Series of six positive true-life films portraying lives of children from Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, the UK and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, stressing strengths, power, resilience, child-like wonder and fun, despite adverse conditions. Powerful messages about children’s potential rather than what they lack, using simple production formats, local film-makers and personnel. www.whatmakesmehappy.tv 

Themes: child protection, resilience

 

The World We Want Television documentary on children’s experiences with conflict, 2007, developed at a workshop for 7–12-year-olds with Spacetoons Kids TV, UNICEF Iraq and UNICEF Jordan

Story portraying real experiences of Sunni and Shia’a children dealing with armed conflict, while showing daily fun activities and friendship during difficult times. Accompanying documentary about the project shows how the production team (camera work, editing, script and acting) included children, both boys and girls.

Themes: child protection, emergencies, resilience, gender equality

 

Heading for Peace Film, 2006, produced by KRO Netherlands

 

Story of a Serbian girl who loves football (soccer), and breaks the window of a home of a local Croatian Muslim family, whose son also loves football. Both children want to attend a local football camp, but neither family will allow interacting or friendship with someone from the “other side”. When the girl’s little sister plays near a landmine, and the two children end up attending the camp, the families learn about healing divisions after a war. The film won several prizes at children’s film festivals.

 

Themes: child protection, gender equality, conflict resolution, resilience, life skills

 

 

On the Block  Film drama for 8–12-year-olds, 2006, Dublin, Ireland

 

Story of disadvantaged youth in Dublin whose flats (apartment blocks) are being torn down to make space for modern homes, how this impacts their lives and how, despite the difficulties of life in an apartment complex, it was still their “home”. Shows the multidimensional lives of children living among drugs and other urban challenges, but also playing and helping one another as friends and competent, resilient individuals. Winner, “Heart Prize,” 2008 Prix Jeunesse International Film Festival for Children’s Television.

 

Themes: child protection, life skills, resilience

 

       

My Wonderful Grandfather - Book, 2003, developed at a capacity-building workshop supported by UNICEF Vietnam

 

Minh, a girl with polio, becomes the “best student” in a village school with her grandfather’s physical and emotional support. Provides a low-cost indigenous solution to a problem which builds self-confidence of local, disadvantaged people and models effective holistic communication for children. Formative research was conducted with children and caregivers prior to final production of the book. Download Book

 

Themes: child survival, child protection, basic education, disability

     
   

I Heard Your Daddy Died / I Heard Your Mommy Died - Books, 1994, by Mark Scrivani, published and distributed by Compassion Books, Inc., USA

 

Examples of “safe haven” literature for children experiencing loss and death of a loved one. In direct and gentle words, the author speaks to the child, acknowledging a range of feelings, and suggests simple ways to cope and heal. Multicultural illustrations complement the texts. Models for developing communication for children on a wide range of difficult issues from emergencies, illness, abandonment, etc.

 

Themes: holistic child development, child protection, HIV/AIDS

 


 

 

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