The dedicated YouTube channel, Sunflower TV, will launch on 1 July co-ordinated by PACT, the UK trade body representing the UK’s screen sector, and created by a number of different organisations including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5’s Milkshake!, Sky, Paramount and Nickelodeon.
It so far includes 200 hours of pre-school and primary school-friendly programmes from 50 shows such as Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Mr Bean: The Animated Series, Jojo and Gran Gran, and Kit and Pup.
The kids' TV favourites will be dubbed into Ukrainian and Sunflower TV will also stream shows from Ukrainian producers including Brave Bunnies and Eskimo Girl.
Nearly two-thirds of Ukrainian children have been forced to flee their homes by the war and the non-profit TV channel will aim to provide entertainment and respite to the youngest of those children displaced to the UK and Europe.
PACT’s Chief Executive John McVay said: “It’s difficult to imagine the trauma Ukrainian children have suffered as a result of being cruelly uprooted from their homes and communities only to find themselves thousands of miles away living in a country where nothing is familiar.
“Hopefully Sunflower TV can go just a little way in providing them with some kind of light relief or distraction to take their minds off the terrible experiences they’ve been through, even if only momentarily.”
All of the organisations providing shows for the channel have given up rights to allow their content to air for free and after the launch date, more content suitable for older children aged between six and 11 will be added.
Director of the Ukrainian Institute London Dr Olesya Khromeychuk said: “Millions of Ukrainian families have been displaced as a result of Russia's war against Ukraine.
“Children who have lost their homes, friends, and relatives will certainly benefit from having at least some sense of familiarity by being able to access materials in their native language.
“And it is important that children don't feel their own language is being drowned out as they start rebuilding their lives away from home.”
Olga Korol was forced to flee the war and is now focussing her efforts on helping the children and women of Ukraine.
She said: “Ukrainian children are now experiencing a very cruel war, a war that will change their lives forever.
"To support the future of Ukraine and Ukrainian children, a special YouTube channel has been created. The content has been lovingly and carefully selected by some of the best media professionals in the UK with the involvement of child psychologists and Ukrainian mothers.
"This special YouTube channel will be a wonderful gift for Ukrainian children, a guide to the world of childhood, new knowledge, talents and dreams. See you on Sunflower TV!”
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