New SAT-7 KIDS show Chat-o seeks to answer the everyday questions of Middle Eastern children by turning to the guidance of the Bible and its heroes.
Growing up in the Middle East can be tough for children, particularly when they have no one to turn to for advice. “Children ask why they lost their loved ones, others ask why they are weak. They have many questions,” said Andrea Zakaria, the show’s producer.
“Through the stories of Bible heroes, children should be able to find answers to their concerns,” he added.
Answering children’s questions
A SAT-7 film crew travelled across Egypt to meet children and find out their questions, problems and fears. The children were then invited in to the SAT-7 studio, where they acted out Bible stories to help them overcome their issues. A counsellor, Dr Ayman Youssef, was also on hand to give specific advice and guidance.
The name Chat-o refers to the fictional software that children on the programme use to communicate with each other. The show also features a character called Grandma Base, who shares her spiritual wisdom with the children.
Advice for life
In one episode, David, a ten-year-old boy from Upper Egypt, asks for guidance on how to make good friends. He pays a visit to Grandma Base to learn about the basics of friendship, and then joins Chat-o presenters in acting out the story of friendship between the biblical David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan. Afterwards, Dr Youssef sat down with David to offer him some advice.
“Our friends that we choose must have morals and ethics,” Dr Youssef said. “I can’t make friends with a liar or cheat, because they might have a negative influence on me. The Bible says, “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Dr Youssef also advised David not to worry about what others thought of him. “You were created special, so you must not seek acceptance from other people,” he said.
Refuge in the Bible
Further episodes address children’s questions on topics such as injustice, sin, anger, reading the Bible, relationships, prayer and low self-esteem.
In answering the real questions of young Egyptians on TV, Chat-o hopes to bring biblical guidance directly into the homes of a generation of Middle Eastern children.
“We want to give the children a message that no matter what challenges they face, they can always find their refuge and answer in the Bible,” said Andrea Zakaria, producer of the show. “The Bible is alive and its teaching is applicable to our everyday life.”
Nominated for an award
Chato has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious 2018 Prix Jeunesse International television awards, which takes place bi-annually in Munich, Germany. The awards are given for the work of astounding media organisations around the world that produce quality programming for children. Almost four hundred children’s programs were submitted as entries for the prize, and Chato has been selected for its quality production and original, holistic content, in the 7-10 age range non-fiction category. The festival will take place from 25–30 May 2018, where the winners of the competition will be announced.
“Of course we hope that our program will go the whole way,” says Albert Fawzi, SAT-7 Egypt’s Executive Director. “It deserves to win because it is a unique programme that gives the opportunity for underprivileged children of rural Egypt to feel special, to have faith for a better future, to express their struggles and fears and to find solutions.”
- Pray that young viewers of Chat-o would find the answers they seek to help them overcome their everyday struggles.
- Thank God that He speaks to us through the Bible. Pray that Egyptian children would hear His voice through the Bible stories on the show, and put their trust in Him.
- Thank God for the creativity of the SAT-7 team, for listening to children’s needs and answering them in a fun and engaging way.