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- 2008 Year of the Children on Tele Lumiere-Noursat
2008 Year of the Children on Tele Lumiere-Noursat
Beirut, February 6, 2008 (Marie-Therese Kreidy*) - Lebanon Catholic television Tele Lumiere/Noursat elected 2008 as the year of children. The programs of the channel are emphasizing the importance of children’s rights and introducing them to the Christian values and morals in their life.
Television provides the backdrop for growing up, for learning and for building the child’s personality and culture. Children devote much of their free time to watching television - seemingly enamored of the screen - and continuous contact is thought to influence the way they understand and interpret both television and the world in which they live.
In addition to the many ways in which television can influence the learning of specific educational concepts, or the ways in which basic television behavior affects other forms of learning, the television through its programs can also teach indirect lessons.
Nowadays families are facing too many problems, especially in the Middle East where social problems combine with political issues and tensions, leading to an unstable society. Children and their families are severely affected by the changing and volatile conditions. In addition, children are also exposed daily to violence in their lives and in the news.
As many problems are faced today by the children and the parents, and because of the lack of valuable Christian educational programs, Tele Lumiere declared the year 2007-2008 to be the year of the Children and many of our programs focus on this very important subject. Since 2004, 2 hours daily are dedicated to children, ages ranging between 4 and 15 years.
The programs produced by Tele Lumiere and Noursat are emphasizing the important role of each child, and the importance of knowing his rights and defending them, helping children to understand many facts of life and to be introduced to the Christian values and morals in their life.
Each age group have their own programs, and children participate in preparing and presenting the majority of the programs broadcast, under the supervision and guidance of specialists.
Live programs have proved to be very effective and attractive to a large number of children, from around the world. Since 2004, a daily live show from Monday to Friday called Allo Rita allows the children to participate actively in various themes and subjects such as Religion, Christian values, sacraments, social values, ethics, family, friendship... and many others, in addition to entertainment and art, but the most impressive episodes are presented during the difficult times in Lebanon or other countries, such as the wars and the "weekly" bombings targeting the country, or even during the political tensions. It is in these times that children demonstrate an amazing solidarity with the suffering, a remarkable patriotic feeling and a high level of awareness, calling the elders to stop their fights.
This program also emphasizes on a broader understanding of children’s rights in religions and the contribution of religions to children’s rights. The aim is to develop an understanding of children as participants in their own lives and in society.
With the program Halleluia children can enjoy and participate in a live show on Saturdays, where they can show their talents, share experiences and learn new things. Programs such as Funtastic Meals , Theatro , Bricolage , dubbed cartoons and many others, are also a very effective way to educate, entertain and form.
Series of drama films have been prepared, focusing on children’s rights and finding the best solutions and answers to their challenges, through a Christian perspective. The programs are very close to children, as a serious approach to tackle many important subjects through a very simple but effective presentation.
In addition to the Christian message, the programs encourage the children in their relations with others, by being helpful, caring, and cooperative. These types of programs can influence children to behave in more socially acceptable ways.
The station also broadcasts numerous programs bringing up family values, providing ways to strengthen the ties between family members and helping them to overcome problems, to be united in spite of all the difficulties and the challenges imposed by society, traditions, sects, country’s situation and so on.
We receive numerous requests from families, especially Arab families, in immigration countries such as USA or Latin America or Canada, to produce family programs, emphasizing on the importance of the family, ways to strengthen ties and relationships, considering the challenges that are threatening the family in the western world.
All of these programs are combined with a variety of social and religious video clips and promotional educational spots.
It is important to mention that a large number of viewers are non Christians and we receive many calls and comments from Muslim families telling us that they are "not afraid to leave the children in front of the TV alone anymore" because when their children are watching Tele Lumiere’s programs they feel safe, as they trust the content and the aims of the programs.
* Journalist Marie-Therese Kreidy is Programming Director at Tele Lumiere-Noursat. She wrote, produced and presented documentaries and series about religions, dialogue, cultural diversity, history, society and current affairs. She is also a SIGNIS International Delegate.