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Magic media for children created in Turkmenistan

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan - 24 April 2009

Turkmenistan education and health specialists, creative individuals, media representatives, members of the public organizations and children have produced a series of educational materials for children of pre-school age as a result of the five day workshop on promoting early childhood development through innovative media and materials. The workshop, organized by UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan from 20 to 24 April aimed at encouraging a diverse group of professionals to collectively contribute to enhancement of early childhood development by producing effective educational products for Turkmenistan children zero to seven years old and their caregivers. 

“The results of participants’ expertise, creativity and diligence will benefit Turkmen families and children. Their work will be critical to improve caregivers’ skills to better care for children and increase their self-confidence, self-awareness and competence”, said Samphe Lhalungpa, recently appointed UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan, addressing the participants at the opening of the workshop.

“There is now a tremendous body of international research that substantiates that the time from birth to 6 years are the most important in a child’s life. The more responsive and playful caregivers are with their infants and young children, the better prepared their children will be for school and life. This workshop is all about creating innovative media and materials for the young child and her caregivers: books and TV spots for children and posters and TV spots for caregivers”, said Barbara Kolucki, the international expert in early childhood development communication who facilitated the workshop.

The outcome of the workshop is a number of products for children and caregivers developed solely by participants that promote early reading, hand washing, exclusive breastfeeding, play and learning as well as integrating disability issues. The power and uniqueness of the produced materials is their capacity to address children’s issues in a holistic way. This means that by reading books and posters, as well as by watching video spots, children and their families will become healthy, educated and emotionally bonded to each other. Moreover, such creative media is designed to build confidence and competence of a child and caregiver, both which have been proven to play a critical role in creating positive behaviour in communities.   

“I have been very impressed with the creative quality of all of the productions and the commitment of participants from various sectors and the creative media. Turkmenistan is joining a small group of countries who are leading the way in producing developmentally and culturally appropriate media for its youngest citizens”, said Ms. Kolucki. 

The workshop will be followed by an advocacy meeting where educational materials will be presented to a group of decision makers from various ministries and agencies working in the field of early childhood development. UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan will pretest all produced materials before they reach families and children.

As one of the participants mentioned, “For us to make child-friendly books, TV spots or posters, we first need to feel that we are children ourselves. That way we will ensure that materials we produce will not only educate people, but will touch their hearts as well.”

For more information please contact:

Ms. Ayna Seyitliyeva
UNICEF Programme Communication Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/86/86
Fax: +99312 420830

Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova
UNICEF Communication Officer
Phone: +99312 425681/82/86/86
Fax: +99312 420830

An example of the produced media - the "handwashing song" in Turkmen



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