SAT-7 SHARES HOPE OF CHRIST’S BIRTH WITH DISPLACED KIDS
This Christmas, SAT-7 KIDS brings light and hope to displaced Syrian children at a centre in Damascus, where staff use its programs both during advent and year-round. This new use of SAT-7 shows joins the Christian broadcaster’s many lifelines for displaced children and families, which include education and parenting support.
“We really see how God is working in the children,” says Sarah*, who works at the facility for displaced, orphaned, and vulnerable children in Damascus. At Christmas, the students watch the nativity story on SAT-7 KIDS and learn the Christmas songs on the channel, which they love to sing together. And, Sarah shares, Christmas is the one time of year when the centre’s staff can talk about Jesus. She explains that they tell the children, “Who is Jesus? Jesus loves kids. He loves them. He loves to take care of them.”
Year-round, Sarah uses other SAT-7 KIDS programs to help the children, who are aged 4-6, learn positive values such as forgiveness or thankfulness. When the youngsters watch clips from A Riddle and a Story or The Greatest Friend, she says, the lessons they learn stay with them. “When they learn a song, they want to do what they have learned.” And for many, the information is completely new – some arrive at the centre struggling even to speak or perform basic self-care. “Some of them have never seen soap to clean their hands with before,” Sarah explains.
Now, Sarah says, she sees “God’s miracles” in the children’s lives. “I remember when they watched A Riddle and a Story and later they were saying, ‘Keanna [the presenter] did so-and-so, so we should do what Keanna said.’ They really take in everything,” she says.
SAT-7 KIDS’ positive impact in this centre is mirrored in millions of homes and camps across the Middle East. Many displaced children gain hope, learn about God’s love, and develop positive values through SAT-7 KIDS programs, including My School, the flagship SAT-7 ACADEMY primary education program for children who are out of school.
Meanwhile, other SAT-7 programs help heal and strengthen child refugees’ crucial bonds with parents and caregivers. Although these relationships can protect children from the long-term negative effects of adverse childhood events, they are often disrupted when parents are suffering themselves. “Many parents are so consumed with the problem of meeting their families’ basic needs that they struggle to build strong, healthy relationships with their children,” explains SAT-7 KIDS Channel Manager Andrea El-Mounayer. Sarah from the centre in Damascus agrees, adding, “Many parents do not know how to work with their kids.”
To help strengthen these bonds, SAT-7 ARABIC offers free counselling programs, such as The Coach and Keys to My Children, that help parents support their children. Meanwhile, SAT-7 KIDS helps heal the relationship from the other end. Me and My Daughter, The Greatest Friend, and Chato all show viewers what a healthy relationship with a parent looks like, through drama and discussion. By offering children positive adult role models, El-Mounayer explains, the channel helps correct their internal image of a parental figure, paving the way for healing. “We believe that a healthy relationship with parents leads to a healthy relationship with our Father in heaven, with other adults, and with peers,” she says.