20 Years of SAT-7 Educational Programming
Over two decades as a Middle Eastern and North African broadcaster, SAT-7 has aired a wide variety of educational, social impact programs.
A TV-series which in an entertaining, educative and informative way presented small micro enterprise projects across the region. 2 series, 10 episodes each. The first series included a contest of presenting projects to be filmed for the second series. Local NGOs were involved in this project to find and facilitate stories, and videos and informational booklets were distributed to the NGOs.
“Farm of Dreams”
Farm of Dreams was produced by Telecine International, Egypt, partly with SIDA funding. It was a 26 episode 30 minute series of children’s TV programs for Arab children. A puppet show which in dramatic form dealt with key issues such as health (nutrition, personal hygiene, immunisation, physical exercise), safety (dangerous household items, care of household equipment), emotional and social issues (understanding needs and potential of persons with disabilities, living productively, adaptability, participating in community, exploring creativity, working as part of a team, appreciating nature and respecting the environment..
As the programs were already produced, the funding was for the broadcasting of the programs only.
“The House of Abou Youssef”
3 series of sitcoms (situation comedy), following the everyday life of a Palestinian family. The goal of this project was to discuss important development and social issues in an entertaining drama format. The series focussed on communicating key issues of health, environmental issues, conservation issues, safety issues, vocational issues, the basic social and human rights of women, children and domestic help.
A total of 68 episodes, each 25 minutes.
The “Disability Project”
This was a complex project consisting of many different types of programs and funded by several donors. The main goal was to raise the status of people with disabilities in the Arab world. The project included:
- Two series of game shows, where children with special needs teamed up with other children in fun and educational games, thus demonstrating that all have something to contribute. Total 52 episodes.
- A 26 episode documentary series showed examples of successful inclusion from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.
- Short program segments for children, presenting the talents of children with special needs
- A series of short TV spots (PSAs) focusing on the rights of persons with disabilities.
- A series of 26 talk shows, live from Beirut, discussing the status of persons with disabilities, engaging the audience directly, as they could call-in during the show.
The success of the project was measured through focus groups in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. Among other things, the respondents were asked whether they agree to the statement: “People with disabilities have a valuable contribution to make in the community.” In all three countries there was a significant, positive change on this question. In Morocco, the ‘strongly agree’ group increased from 77% to 86%. In Jordan from 48 to 65%, and in Egypt from 37% to 71%!
HIV/Aids Awareness Campaign
Three types of programs were produced for this campaign: a series of interviews with a medical doctor who is an expert on HIV/AIDS, a series of short comedy dramas for youth and a series of short spots (PSAs = Public Service Announcements). The programs were produced in Egypt, but broadcast to the entire region of the Middle East and North Africa.
In order to measure the impact of the campaign, a baseline survey measuring the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) of the population in four villages in Upper Egypt was done. After the broadcast of the interviews and dramas, the KAP was measured again, and after the broadcast of the spots, a final survey was done. The final survey found that KAP had improved significantly on 10 out of 12 indicators.
Female Heads of Households in the Arab World
The aim of this media project has been to raise awareness about the situation and rights of female heads of households in the Middle East and North Africa. The ultimate goal being an improvement in the living conditions of these women, who are the heads of their households in a society which expects the head of the family to be a man.
Through the production and broadcasting of television programs, reaching a wide audience across the Arab world, the project successfully raised awareness of a taboo subject, challenged gender roles deeply rooted in a patriarchal culture, and positively impacted the attitudes of the audience towards women. (See an episode below.)
The impact of the campaign has been surveyed in six villages in rural Egypt. In the survey, respondents were asked about their attitudes towards women. Satellite dishes were then installed, enabling households to watch SAT-7. After 8 months of exposure to the broadcasts, the attitudes towards women were measured again. The results are remarkably positive, with significant, positive change on 8 out of 13 indicators. For example, the number of respondents who think rape happens because of girls’ bad behaviour has fallen from 53.6 to 43.9 percent, the number of people who think that a woman abandoned by her husband has probably been a bad wife has decreased from 32 to 22.3 percent, and the number of people who think a husband has the right to discipline his wife has fallen from 59.3 to 45.3 percent.
An on-going project, which includes informational spots for children and adults, and a talk show on healthy nutrition.