When all regular church activities were shut down, BCC and local associations started working together to make an online program for children. BCC has TV broadcasts twice a week, which are dubbed into twelve languages and watched by children worldwide.
By Johanne Reiersrud – Photo by Madelen Fjeld
“Children also need something to do in these extraordinary times. Many miss their friends and their normal church activities, so an important goal with these broadcasts is to create a sense of unity and belonging, even though it’s not possible for them to be together in person,” says Elise Schøll. She manages the new online children’s program, which is a collaboration between BCC and its Activity Club organization.
There are two online shows for children each week: a Sunday school broadcast and a weekday broadcast. The latter contains fun activities that viewers can do at home. In addition, there are presentations containing situations and dilemmas that are recognizable to most children from their own everyday lives.
The first broadcast was sent at Easter, and now more employees are working full-time on the children’s program, in addition to about 15 volunteers.
“There is interactive participation during the broadcasts, and we have received many hundreds of pictures during each program from excited children who are watching, doing the activities, or just sending a message,” says Schøll.
Dubbing the shows into 12 languages
It is important that children in many countries and cultures can identify with what is happening on the screen. There is a broad international audience watching. The broadcasts are dubbed into 12 languages, and subtitles are translated into several more.
“Being able to see and hear the content in their own language adds much greater value to a child than ordinary text translation,” says Astrid Hauptmann.
She coordinates the work with the different languages in BCC’s media department and tells about the help they have received from volunteers in many countries. BCC has in all parts of the world, and there is a lot of interest in watching its broadcasts.
Watch the Sunday school broadcast dubbed to English:
“When we put out the word that we needed many volunteers to help with translation and dubbing, the response was overwhelming,” says Hauptmann.
“The teams that work with dubbing have made a formidable effort. There are devoted people who are passionate for the children in their country to hear the shows in their own language. In a short period of time, they have established new teams locally, which both translate the material and record it in new voices with high technical quality,” she says.
“Even though it requires an effort to find the best methods for dubbing, the response from viewers has been very positive. It is as though the starting shot has been fired for a new era, where the quality of the productions, not least for children, are being raised several notches,” says Astrid Hauptmann.
Translation increases participation
The translation and dubbing work appear to have increased participation among viewers.
“Eleven churches from other countries have created music videos which they sent to us. Along with those who sing in the studio, about 60 children have added their voices to various songs, and dozens more from around the world have sent in video greetings.”
“It is new and exciting to communicate in so many languages to children from different cultures. So far, the feedback has been very good, but there’s always room for improvement and learning,” says Elise Schøll.
She says one goal of these TV programs is for children to learn about Jesus, and find comfort and strength in the belief that He loves us and has extra care for all children, regardless of who they are or where they live.
The new material will be useful for Sunday schools in the future
Schøll and Hauptmann believe the new material being produced will benefit many more, even after the corona crisis is over.
“Animated films we produced are well suited for multilingual presentation and for Sunday school. We have already shared the children’s series Jesus Is My Friend with both Sunday School Norway and a large American organization. I believe a new Bible series currently in production will also benefit many local Sunday schools when they start up again,” says Elise Schøll.
Swipe right to see more pictures from the broadcasts. (Photo by BCC):