Kyrgyzstan

Cartoon takes Kyrgyz children on a ‘Magic Journey’ and teaches life lessons

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/2006
Aktan and Akylay are the stars of 'Magic Journey,' the first cartoon to be produced in Kyrgyzstan in 20 years.

By Galina Solodunova

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 3 January 2007 – For Kaniet, 4, and his mother, it is a very special day. At a children’s recreation centre in Bishkek, they are watching the first animated series to be produced in Kyrgyzstan in 20 years.

Called ‘Magic Journey’, the groundbreaking cartoon features the adventures of Aktan and Akylay, two characters who set out on journeys in imaginary countries where they learn from new friends. Based on books that were developed by UNICEF two years ago, the series is already beloved by many children and parents across the country.

“These are special programmes – cartoons for children to learn from and for parents to help children develop their full potential,” said UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan Timothy Schaffter.

Child health and development

Young Kaniet and his older brother Bahtiar have already learned many things from reading the books featuring Aktan and Akylay, such as the proper way to wash your hands and what is necessary for a healthy, balanced diet.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/2006
Kaniet, 4, attends a viewing of ‘Magic Journey’ wearing a shirt featuring his favourite characters.

The books, which emphasize the importance of love and care in a community, have played a special role in Kaniet’s family. His favourite story has even inspired the family to invent new games to play together.

Like the books, the cartoon series offers recommendations on better personal care and positive early childhood principles. Sensitive psychosocial issues such as violence and neglect will be also covered in a story line in which Aktan and Akylay transform into superheroes to help children deal with these problems.

Audience participation

The ‘Magic Journey’ series began in November 2006 and is set to run every evening as part of a one-year project by the National Kyrgyz Tele/Radio Corporation – with support from UNICEF, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Early Childhood Development Programme.

The cartoon reaches the most remote corners of Kyrgyzstan, thanks to the wide availability of the national channel on which it airs. Every episode invites young viewers and their parents to send in their story ideas for the characters.

In this way, children like Kaniet are being encouraged to become regular contributors and join in creating their own magic journey.


 

 

Video

Watch an excerpt from ‘Magic Journey’, the Kyrgyz cartoon starring characters Aktan and Akylay.
 VIDEO  high | low

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