Media for Pacific Children
60 people are waving their hands in awe of what they just saw. They just witnessed the global premiere of a set of world class TV, radio and illustrated productions for and about children in the Pacific. The productions deal with important issues such as washing hands with soap, and HIV and AIDS. What is really special about these productions is that they have been produced by the 60 people waving their hands and that they are doing so as a gesture of inclusion to some of the participants who are deaf and hearing impaired. The wave is the “international sign” used instead of hand clapping in applause.
The time and place is a Friday afternoon in August in Suva, the capital of the Fiji Islands. The occasion is the finalization of a five day workshop organized by UNICEF Pacific to strengthen skills and capacity among Pacific media producers on children’s media. The participants are a great creative blend of girls and boys, women and men, experienced and less experienced producers, storytellers and artists. Some of them are deaf or hearing impaired and some live with other disabilities such visual impairment. They all have in common a shared interest and objective to excel in communicating with, for and about children and adolescents. The 10 different media productions resulting from the workshop bear witness to the fact that they have managed to do exactly that.
UNICEF Pacific organized the workshop with support from child media specialist Barbara Kolucki. UNICEF recognizes that media partners in the Pacific are invaluable and best positioned to communicate in innovative and engaging ways with children and their families on topics and issues important to their development. During the five days the participants were exposed to a wide variety of world class media productions, as well as principles and practical guidelines to ensure that local productions are age appropriate, gender progressive and inclusive of children and adults with differing abilities and from a wide range of backgrounds. The ultimate goal was to build capacity of local producers to use media to support, empower, educate and build confidence in all children, with emphasis on the most marginalized.
The workshop is part of a long term strategic effort in the Pacific for UNICEF to strengthen its partnership with the media to support the realization of the different articles of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and other human rights instruments like the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. It is also a strategic part of UNICEF Pacific’s commitment to strengthening communication for development – with children and youth seen not merely as an audience but also as an integral and primary partner in their own and social development processes.
Workshop participants have been selected following careful screening of their and their media outlets commitment to excellence in children’s media. They represent established media outlets and organizations based in Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and comprise a formidable force of creativity and innovation. By strengthening the strategic partnership with Pacific media in children media, UNICEF Pacific is working toward the establishment of a sustainable platform for the organizations future communication for development for children in the region.
Throughout the workshop all participants proactively incorporated what they learned by creating inclusive, innovative and engaging media. Many of the productions (found on the right-hand side) focus on solutions to problems as opposed to highlighting problems and difficulties. Another characteristic of all of the productions are that they promote the natural inclusion and resiliency of children and parents living with disabilities. The productions were not “about” disability but rather integrated children and adults living with disability as part of storylines and casting – regardless of the topic of the book, TV, radio spot or poster.
They are all unique and magical and available here for your enjoyment and inspiration. Note that there is variation between the technical quality of the productions, some of which have been completed and some of which represent only a trial execution if an idea. The productions have not yet been pre-tested. UNICEF Pacific will continue to provide support to participating media outlets to pre-test, use and adapt these and similar productions for the enjoyment and benefit of Pacific girls and boys and their families.
All productions (found on the right-hand side) can be used or adapted freely. Please ensure copyright recognition is attributed to UNICEF and the producers.
For more information please contact: