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Communicating with children

Early and middle years

No More Playing with Chickens - Public service-television announcement on Avian Influenza, 2001, produced by UNICEF Moldova

Presented from a child’s point of view and interest, combining live action and animation: story of a girl whose grandfather respectfully explains why she cannot play with chickens anymore. Treats animals respectfully by choosing to humanely address “protecting the chickens”, rather than portraying them as the source of the “problem”.

Themes: child survival, health/hygiene, gender equality


Perspectiva Accessible School TV Spots Public Service Spots on access by children who are disabled to schools, produced by Perspectiva, a Russian NGO that supports inclusion of children and adults with disability.

These three short animated spots were produced to demonstrate the simple adaptations that need to be made to integrate blind, deaf and physically disabled children.

Themes: disability, self-confidence, life skills


Trinidad Kids on Slits Television spot from Sesame Street, USA

First-person story of a girl from Trinidad who wants to learn to walk on stilts like other children from her community. Her stepdad supports and guides her while building her confidence and resiliency. Slowly, she learns this difficult task and joins other friends in a parade.

Themes: resiliency, self-confidence, cultural pride


This is Danial Cook: Visiting a Doctor Live-action television series episode, 2004, Canada

Series about young boy explores his world and shares his new experiences with viewers. In this episode, Daniel visits a doctor who, in a kind and child-friendly way, explains how and why he is being examined. Daniel is afraid of getting an injection, but the doctor is honest and calm. Good portrayal of a child’s natural fears, curiosity and how health workers can educate children, support their coping skills and keep them healthy. http://www.thisisdanielcook.com/#intro

Themes: child survival, gender equality


My Golden Treasure Box  Book, produced in 2010 at a capacity-building workshop supported by UNICEF Pacific Islands in Fiji.


This story was adapted from the real-life experience of one of the workshop participants, who is deaf. It depicts a child’s dream, family relationships and a life lesson in how to save and share money. It also encourages young readers to pursue their dreams.


Themes: life skills, resilience, disability


Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship - Co-written following the Asian tsunami by 6-year-old Isabella Hatkoff, her father, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu

This book is a model of a “safe haven” story for children who have experienced loss or need a new family. The book relates the story of what happens to Owen, a baby hippo, separated from his family during the tsunami. Local people in Kenya help the stranded hippo and take him to a park in Mombasa. Once there, Owen is confused and angry until Mzee, an old giant tortoise, comforts him by snuggling up to Owen. The two become inseparable and Mzee teaches Owen how to live with the other animals. The book was published by Scholastic Press in 2006. It was also adapted in Myanmar after Typhoon Nargis 2006. <www.scholastic.com/owenmzee>


Themes: emergency, child protection, resilience, early literacy



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