Author: Sergiy Prokhorov, February 5 2018 - Would like to share a good case of Entertainment Education (EE) application in Mine Risk Eduction (MRE) done by UNICEF Ukraine. In Ukraine 580,000 children were affected by an armed conflict in the Eastern part of the country. Ukraine is fast becoming one of the world’s most mine contaminated countries. During the entire conflict period, from 14 April 2014 to 15 August 2017, at least 2,505 civilians were killed in shelling, UXO and landmine related incidents: 1,382 men, 837 women, 137 children. Families who are coming back and those who remained at post-conflict areas of Donbas are at risk due to a lack of knowledge about the dangers of landmines and other explosive devises. Children are not properly informed about how to stay safe in areas where they are present.

With the aim of protecting school-kids and preventing injuries among children, UNICEF Ukraine has developed an entertainment education program to educate children about safe behaviors called “Superteam against mines". Based on the KAPB baseline conducted with main audiences, key messages were developed. The most critical practices were embedded in the characteristic of each Superteam’s hero appealing to children with lifesaving rules educating them how to avoid landmines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO): Notice!, Bypass!, Report!, and Don’t panic!. It used multiple platforms to reach children living in high-risk areas to promote safe practices among adolescents through digital platform (www.inforce.team), social media, printed comics, stickers, posters, school diaries and notebooks.

A video featuring UNCEF Goodwill ambassador Orlando Bloom  was intended to reinforce lifesaving practices among adolescents, motivating them to actively use the website to seek for related information. The edutainment campaign reached 2.4 million children online. Among them, over 500,000 children received comic books, posters, stickers and about 200,000 children were engaged in direct training sessions during 2016-2017.

The post-campaign survey stated that knowledge and intended practice of safe behavior when observing mines increased by 12% among children in affected areas. The ability to identify risky areas among children have increased by 15%; ability to identify suspicious and dangerous objects increased by 20% among teenage children living in affected areas. The Superteam against mines concept is now planned to be used for conducting interactive education games (live performances) for children of preschool and elementary school age, and has been already turned into series of cartoons.

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