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Magic Journey - Children's TV travels from Kyrgyzstan to Turkey

© UNICEF Kyrgyzstan
Scene from the cartoon "Magic Journey"

October2009 - Kyrgyzstan/Turkey - The animated series The Magic Journey with its main characters Aktan and Akylai is being aired now on Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) Avaz.

TRT Avaz reaches up to 250 million people in 27 countries and 13 autonomous regions including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Bulgaria, Greece, Balkan countries, Eastern Europe and the Uyghur Autonomous Region.

“It was a pleasant surprise for us to learn that the journalists from TRT Avaz who have seen a lot in the media not only appreciated the originality of the stories and animation but also asked for permission to air the Magic Journey on Turkish television” – said Ms. Kokul Aripova, an editor of children’s and youth programmes at the Kyrgyz National Television and Radio Corporation (NTRK).

The Magic Journey is aimed at young Kyrgyz children ages 3 – 6 years. Developed entirely within the country and with local talent, it is produced and aired daily in collaboration between the NTRK, UNICEF, the Soros Foundation, the Aga Khan Foundation and the ECD Project under the President’s Office funded through a loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Since 2006, the main characters, Akylai and Aktan, have become among the most popular and well-loved children’s “heroes” in Kyrgyzstan. Through telling stories, solving problems and being curious and exploratory, the characters have inspired children to learn and develop the skills necessary to prepare for school. All over the country children have become actively involved in the programme; they perform plays about the characters and can sing the theme song as well as other songs from the series. Given the very low provision of early education in Kyrgyzstan, the Magic Journey series, which is watched by over 95% of young children (and in many cases their families), is making an important contribution to their development and education.

The success of the Magic Journey was also noted by Ms. Barbara Kolucki, international consultant on effective media for children. “You should be proud of your work. The Magic Journey is now beyond the boundaries of the project, which was aimed only at Kyrgyz children with limited or no access to preschool education” – said Ms. Kolucki at a workshop in Bishkek in 2009.

The Magic Journey was part of the preliminary selection for the prestigious international Japan Prize which will be awarded in Tokyo in October 2009. Only 15 media programmes for children from all over the world made it to the pre-final list. The Magic Journey was one of them.

The magic journey of the Kyrgyz animated serial continues...

Watch an episode of the "Magic Journey"



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