Local artists join UNICEF to create new learning materials for children

Rwandan artists in the fields of media, animation, graphic designing, music, and persons with disabilities were thrilled to create age-appropriate and child-friendly content and materials in their respective fields.
Participants make a hand of applause using sign language. / Diane Mushimiyimana
Participants make a hand of applause using sign language. / Diane Mushimiyimana

Rwandan artists in the fields of media, animation, graphic designing, music, and persons with disabilities were thrilled to create age-appropriate and child-friendly content and materials in their respective fields.

During a six-day workshop for communication and early childhood development professionals in Rwanda, held last week, the participants came up with songs, videos, radio and TV illustrations to make age-appropriate material for under-five children.

Afro beat and RnB singer, Peace Jolis, participated in a TV spots singing a children song that engages children while teaching them simple words that they will hear and see in sign language.

He said before he could not imagine himself as a singer for children but now the workshop has revived his inner passion because of being among the pioneers of children content development.

“Apart from being part of the production of a TV spot, I learnt a lot about positive parenting, and different ways to communicate with children effectively, among others. I think I will be treating children differently, thanks to my new skills,” he added.

Children and adults with disabilities also participated in the workshop in all aspects of production. Emma Maniraguha , a 16-year-old visually impaired student at HVP Gatagara in Rwamagana District showcased her unique talent of making beads, bracelets and necklaces.

She also participated in the TV spot teaching other children how to make their own bracelets and other children were happy to learn from her.

“I’m happy that persons with disabilities were taken into consideration during this workshop. This gives us the opportunity to grow our talents and can really contribute in changing the mindsets of some people who still consider us as unable,” she said.

This workshop was planned as part of the anniversary celebrations for Itetero, Rwanda’s first radio programme for and by children. In October 2015, UNICEF partnered with Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) and Imbuto Foundation to create Itetero, meaning “children are nurturing space” in Kinyarwanda. Itetero now airs every week on Radio Rwanda, teaching children Rwandan cultural values and improving their cognitive development through stories and drama sketches.

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