POWERFUL MUSIC VIDEOS PROMOTE CHILD RIGHTS IN ISOLATED HOMES
With families isolated at home across the Middle East due to Covid-19, children’s rights in the region are under intensified threat. At this crucial time, SAT-7 KIDS premieres music videos highlighting issues including mental health, child marriage, and violence, created by young people and beamed straight into viewers’ homes.
The videos of original songs, which are airing on SAT-7 KIDS and on social media, include the rap track “If You Would Hear Me”. The song shares a vital message from SAT-7, and from the young people who made it, to children watching across the region: if you are struggling, or in pain, please reach out for help.
Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, young participants of the program Puzzle were invited to write songs and create video clips. Children from various backgrounds, such as refugees, participated and created wonderfully creative videos that have become a lifeline to SAT-7 KIDS viewers now sitting at home unable to go to school or go outside to play.#isolatedtogether #staysafe #sat7
Posted by SAT-7 on Saturday, 4 April 2020
In the video, a lonely young man [Garbis Pepeian] voices his feelings and calls out for help, symbolically ripping off duct tape covering his mouth. He is comforted by a peer [Garen Sercheian], who responds with support, telling him, “Just take a step forward and we all walk by your side. Light is just ahead, and help is on the way.”
Many children in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) urgently need this encouragement to seek help if they need it, particularly because of the stigma in the region around mental health. While necessary for public health, isolation can contribute to mental health problems, which many young people already struggle with in silence. In addition, heightened family stress and school closures put children at greater risk of rights violations, including child abuse, child labour, and gender-based violence, including child marriage.
“If You Would Hear Me” is part of a project linked to the SAT-7 ACADEMY gameshow Puzzle, which invited its young participants to write their own songs about children’s rights. The resulting professionally produced videos span several genres of music and star the young people themselves. Two more of the powerful songs written by children themselves are “Early Marriage”, which powerfully illustrates the pain of a stolen childhood, and “Live Your Childhood”, which focuses on children’s right to live free of war and violence.
The Audience Relations teams from SAT-7 KIDS and the social development brand SAT-7 ACADEMY, which are in constant, nurturing contact with viewers, are themselves one line of support for isolated children. In addition, to further promote children’s rights, the Puzzle team produced a series of “public service announcement” (PSA) clips, also featuring children who took part in the show. One positive to social distancing is that with more parents – particularly fathers – at home, the PSA broadcasts on SAT-7 KIDS may have a wider reach among those who need to see them.