Vancouver-based Big Bad Boo Studios is extending its partnership with UNICEF in order to reach more refugee children, in more countries, with additional content. The initial program started in 2016 provided 50,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan with educational materials based on the studio’s animated children's series 1001 Nights.
The new agreement will expand the program's reach to 170,000 children in six countries, with Big Bad Boo signing up to supply curriculum materials, animated videos and over 1.7 million books based on 1001 Nights and other properties, including preschool miniseries Lili & Lola. The curriculum materials focus on civic education, with the aim of helping children re-establish normative values.
Big Bad Boo's sister company Oznoz.com, a streaming platform for educational and multilingual kids' programming, is also being piloted to provide more content to refugee children in need.
“Our partnership with UNICEF has been one of the most important and gratifying things we have done and the work has become an integral part of our company’s DNA,” said Aly Jetha, CEO of Big Bad Boo. “It’s gratifying to see the direct effect we can have on so many children and hope we can do more in the years to come.”
Big Bad Boo visits camps and community centers that provide refugee support throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe several times per year.
“UNICEF is very grateful to Big Bad Boo and The Education Diversity Foundation for this exciting partnership, as children learn best when they are having fun,” said Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Jordan’s Country Representative. “Big Bad Boo’s materials have become an integral part of our education and psychosocial programs with refugee children. Children who have endured extreme trauma are very difficult to reach – Big Bad Boo’s cartoons engage them with humor and their supporting materials are having measurable impact countering trauma, instilling positive social values and providing a sense of hope, all of which are critical for these children.”
1001 Nights, inspired by the classic tales of Shahrzad, currently airs in 80 countries and 26 languages on top channels including CBC Radio (Canada), Discovery Kids, RTBF (Belgium), PBS Kids, Cartoon Network, ORF, Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, Disney, and Gloob (Brazil).