A Good Night Magic Touch for Every Child in Kyrgyzstan
Children in Kyrgyzstan welcomed a new TV programme on the main national TV channel. Magic Yurt is a daily five minute puppet show for 3-6 year old children. It is aired just before the evening news at 8:40 p.m. This time makes it ideal for parents and children to watch it together.
The magic comes from puppets: a male dog and a female hedgehog. There are also special people: a loving grandma who talks about about local traditions and culture, a craftswoman who creates “simple and creative art projects” with the help of everyday items, and a botanist who explores with children the fascinating world of nature.
Five-year-old Asel from Kochkorka village in northern Kyrgyzstan named her dog after the puppet dog Barsuldak. Her friends did the same. “Barsuldak is a funny-sounding dog’s name. Every household has a Barsuldak .We now have a Barsuldak and five small Barsuldaks,” jokes her mother in her letter.
The programme addresses children’s developmental and emotional needs, and also provides parents with tips on what they can do with their children, such as draw or make felt camels, acorn people, walnut turtles, or paper planes.
The themes of the scripts complement another very popular programme, Magic Journey, which has become the visiting card of Kyrgyz TV since 2006 and has already travelled to three other countries in the world (name them here). The additional value of Magic Yurt is its nurturing of a love of local traditions, tales and culture. They learn about epic heroes and the history of the Kyrgyz people, as well as discover the magic of their own homeland. The format allows the puppet and live characters to read letters that they receive and share the experiences of parents and children. The presence of real people in the programme a shows how daily routines can be turned into magical moments for every child and her/his family.
Magic Yurt is evidence of the National TV and Radio Corporation’s commitment to extend and improve programming for children. UNICEF supports the Corporation by providing international experience and organizing learning workshops. The main task now is to improve the quality of puppeteers’ work and inspire scriptwriters. “Programme producers do need constant support. “It is very important for children and who has been supporting the production of media for and about children in Kyrgyz production staff to continually upgrade their professional skills. Seminars, training workshops and research with the target audience is the golden standard of internationally recognized TV programmes for children, like “Sesame Street”, says Barbara Kolucki, UNICEF consultant and international expert in communication for and about children who has supported the Kyrgyzstan Country Office since 2003.. UNICEF and the Corporation plan more workshops not just for the staff of the Corporation, but for any other local channels and production studios that have been paying more interest in media for and about children.
The Magic House is often seen by children and families right before bedtime. UNICEF, together with the Corporation and many other partners, are commited to producing a high quality programme that helps Kyrgyz children tuck into bed for a good night.