A non-profit YouTube channel created specifically for Ukrainian children displaced by the war is set to launch with more than 200 hours of content this summer.
Sunflower TV will launch on July 1 with around 50 episodes of popular British children’s TV programmes dubbed into Ukrainian.
The channel, which will eventually feature up to 200 hours of Ukrainian and British content, has been designed to offer entertainment and respite for the children of Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee their homes.
Sunflower TV will feature British children’s programmes including Peppa Pig, Go Jetters, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Thomas & Friends, Mr Bean: The Animated Series, Jojo and Gran Gran, and Kit and Pup.
The YouTube channel will also feature shows by Ukrainian producers with titles such as Brave Bunnies and Eskimo Girl.
The channel, which will allow Ukrainian children free access to engaging and popular programming but in their native tongue, has been coordinated by Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact), the UK trade body representing the UK’s screen sector.
A range of organisations have participated in the initiative to set up the dedicated channel offering programmes for young Ukrainian children who now find themselves living in the UK and Europe as a result of the war, as well as children still in Ukraine.
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.”
The Ukrainian Institute London is one of many Ukrainian organisations supporting the initiative and providing advice about how to support the needs of Ukrainian people arriving in the UK.
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.”
Organisations involved in the project include the BBC and BBC Studios, Channel 4, Channel 5’s Milkshake!, ITV and ITV Studios, Paramount and Nickelodeon, Sky, STV, YouTube and Starlight Media in Ukraine.
Further content will be added after the channel’s initial launch date.
Sunflower TV will launch on YouTube on July 1.
Last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson penned a touching letter to the children of Ukraine, saying: “You are not alone.” Click here to read the story.