New radio soap opera brings children’s issues into Sudanese homes

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A new radio soap opera called ‘Sika Tawadi’ will be launched in Sudan, bringing children’s issues directly into the homes of thousands of families. ‘Sika Tawadi’ will first air on Radio Omdurman at 8.45 p.m. on Sunday 16 December 2007.

“Radio dramas have engaged audiences all over the world, mixing entertainment with social commentary. I am confident that ‘Sika Tawadi’ will follow in that tradition creating a renewed focus on children’s issues in Sudan,” said UNICEF Representative in Sudan, Ted Chaiban.

‘Sika Tawadi’ – A Path Takes You – is a 52 part drama to be aired bi-weekly on Sudan’s Radio Omdurman. The series chronicles the lives of local residents in a multicultural community in the capital Khartoum.  Each episode plans to address a range of child protection in an engaging and entertaining manner.

The soap opera is part of a comprehensive multi-media campaign raising awareness on a number of key child protection issues including child associated with armed groups and forces, harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and cutting and children in conflict with the law.

Speaking before the premiere of 'Sika Tawadi' today, Ted Chaiban said, “We often talk about giving children a voice in society, and this drama really does give them a platform from which to raise broader awareness and understanding of their rights.”

The new series has been sponsored by UNICEF and the Sudanese National Council for Child Welfare, in partnership with Sudan Radio and Television, and features actors well-known to Sudanese households.
In a break from normal practice, the child characters in ‘Sika Tawadi’ are played by actual children instead of adults. Through a series of consultative meetings and group discussions with the writers, children from different backgrounds were involved in supporting story and character development, to ensure that the series accurately reflects the experiences and perspectives of Sudanese children.

The producers of the series are keeping the storylines a closely guarded secret however  promise that the new drama will focus on a number of issues relevant to children, that hopefully will encourage  adults and paretns to pay closer attention to the issues of child protection.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Source: UNICEF