Kidcos are stepping up to entertain Ukrainian kids displaced from their homes. Mattel, Nickelodeon, Sky and BBC are among several companies providing content for free to YouTube channel Sunflower TV, which is launching July 11 to offer full-length Ukrainian-language children’s programming.
The channel has amassed roughly 200 hours of content so far, targeting preschoolers and six to 11s. Close to 50 dubbed episodes from shows such as Peppa Pig, Thomas & Friends, Mr. Bean: The Animated Series, Jojo and Gran Gran and Go Jetters will be available at launch, along with Ukrainian productions such as Glowberry’s Brave Bunnies (52 x seven minutes) and Film.UA’s Eskimo Girl (pictured, 104 x six minutes).
Sunflower TV is still looking to add content to its lineup, and interested producers can reach out to Deborah Chang, digital project manager at London-based Little Dot Studios. The YouTube channel is after live-action and animated programming, ideally already dubbed in Ukrainian, Chang tells Kidscreen. (But Little Dot is exploring the idea of putting displaced Ukrainians to work on dubbing shows that aren’t already available in their language.)
PACT in the UK is coordinating Sunflower TV (named for Ukraine’s national flower), and the ad-free channel has received backing from Ukrainian Institute London, an education-focused non-profit org.
Nearly two-thirds of kids in the Ukraine have been displaced as a result of Russia’s invasion, according to a UNICEF report from this week. And as Kidscreen has previously reported, many Ukrainian kids content producers have been forced to flee the country, halt productions and/or prioritize survival over creativity.