MENA (SAT-7) — Last week, we told you that despite pandemic-induced working conditions, SAT-7 is hard at work producing consistent content for their dedicated viewers. Many audiences need education programming, spiritual connections, and health information more than ever before.
And it seems no demographic needs SAT-7 more than kids.
SAT-7 Kids focuses on engaging children with spiritual, academic, and entertaining content. In the words of Juliana Sfeir, manager of SAT-7’s Academy channel: “They reach out to our followers at the heart of their struggles and give answers to their needs in an artistic, visually engaging, and very entertaining way.
Sfeir’s Academy channel exemplifies this. The channel focuses on providing educational programming for everyone, regardless of social status, gender, religion, or ethnicity. From health issues to social rights, Academy covers it all. They use SAT-7 channels as well as social media outlets such as Facebook, TikTok, and Youtube to keep kids informed and engaged. They produce quiz shows, educational segments, home videos, and more.
The “backbone of SAT-7 Academy,” according to Sfeir, is a program called My School. The program teaches viewers new languages, engages them in conversation with SAT-7 staff, and seeks to answer the questions on kids’ minds. With My School and other programs, SAT-7 engages with kids so they can keep content targeted at the right issues.
“We always ask them, ‘Was this good for you? Do you understand that? Do you want something else?’ And it’s giving them an opportunity for the viewers and for the followers to say, ‘Hey, why don’t you talk about this issue? There’s a huge need to talk about that issue.’”
Another icon of SAT-7 Academy is a show called Puzzle. Puzzle is a competition and game show based on development goals and human rights, such as gender equality, the right to education, or the fight against child marriage.
The show brings in kids from every possible demographic. There are educated kids, refugee kids, Muslim kids, Christian kids, rich kids, poor kids, boys, and girls. Every game forces the kids to learn to work together to resolve conflicts and start a dialogue with each other. Then, the kids head out into their communities to preform various initiatives, such as feeding the hungry or passing out flowers. It also lets kids express their opinions freely in confessionals so they speak directly to their peers.
In another program, over 50 kids were brought into the studio and given the chance to produce their own songs. Of the many SAT-7 produced, a significant number talked about human rights. One child sang about how much he hated living in a warzone. Another little girl even sang about her dread of being forced into marriage when she turned 15.
And now that COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, SAT-7 Academy is more crucial than ever. They’re sharing safety tips and prayerful comfort through meaningful testimonies and programming. They’ve adapted Puzzle into bite-sized Puzzle Games kids can play at home. They’ve produced animated segments called Timo and Karkar to share COVID-19 prevention information.
In the words of Nicoletta Michael, “We brought together a microsociety of today by shedding light on the new and enduring challenges of the region and how the children are experiencing these new and enduring challenges. Through the process of the program, we show kids the society of tomorrow, a society that we aspire to. One that will be marked by tolerance, acceptance, dialogue, critical thinking, and above all, a unity through diversity. With the ultimate goal, we would achieve a peaceful and coexisting manner.”
Pray for the continued work and programming of SAT-7 kids in the Middle East and North Africa. If you want to support their work directly, you can do that right here.
Header photo courtesy of SAT-7.