New Child-friendly Video Series “Happy Family” Launched Today

AKP Phnom Penh, May 22, 2020 —

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) and its partners launched here today a new child-friendly video series ‘Happy Family’, a child-friendly animation series.

This video will air on several Cambodia’s TV channels for one month, starting from May 23, according to a joint press release AKP received this morning.

The videos are produced by the MoEYS, UNICEF and Save the Children through Breakthrough-ACTION – USAID’s global flagship programme on social and behaviour change, providing a variety of COVID-19 risk communication and community engagement activities in Cambodia.

Funded by USAID’s Breakthrough-ACTION project, this TV programme provides children and caretakers with life-long skills on how to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus, how to stop it from spreading, as well as how to cope with the pandemic aftermath.

The edutainment series has a target audience of 5 to 10 year olds, and revolves around a colourful family of bunnies. The storyline and messaging spans hand washing, social distancing, learning from home, mental and physical well-being, and stigma and discrimination. Each episode is unique and appealing for parents and other caregivers, who will also learn, alongside their children, how to apply suggested prevention techniques for COVID-19.

The key messages are communicated through situations and explanations that are child friendly, fun and engaging. This increases the chance that children can apply key actions demonstrated to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“Children are not immune to COVID-19 and can play a key role in helping reduce transmission rates, not just among themselves, but in informing parents, aunties and grandparents and other younger children too. In general, infectious diseases spread more quickly among children who are more tactile, and less able to understand instructions about hygiene and sanitation. There is a lack of accurate and child friendly information around preventing COVID-19 for children aged 5-10 years old and lack of COVID-19 prevention information flow to vulnerable groups, such as grandparents, particularly grandmothers/aunties who are becoming primary caretakers of children since schools are closed. Simple measures, and age appropriate information can be lifesaving”, said Mrs. Elizabeth Pearce, Country Director of Save the Children in Cambodia.

The video series will be broadcasted on children’s TV programmes during the weekend, namely on Bayon TV, TV5 and PNN as well as on social media channels.

Ms. Cristian Munduate, UNICEF’s Representative in Cambodia said in the time of crisis, children bear the highest toll. “UNICEF is working with partners to make sure that children have access to tailored, child-friendly and inclusive information on how to protect themselves. Knowing how to properly wash their hands or observe the correct social distancing can be lifesaving. While schools and public events are not accessible, we hope that through TV and social media, we can provide families around the country with the knowledge they need to stay healthy and safe,” she underlined.

By Heng Panha