"Stories create community, enable us to see through the eyes of other people, and open us to the claims of others." - Peter Forbes
UNICEF's Sara Communication Initiative for the adolescent girl in Africa ran for about 15 years, including with private-sector collaboration, starting in the mid-1990s. The media products address child rights, gender discrimination, protection from sexual exploitation and HIV/AIDS.
The stories were researched and designed to build the life skills of young adolescent girls in Africa. Neill McKee started Sara but the initiative was successful due to the dedicated and creative work of a large team of people, beginning with Richard Mabala from Tanzania, and UNICEF ESARO staff: Justus Olielo, Caroline den Dulk and Nicola Oberzaucher. Nuzhat Shahzadi was the regional coordinator from 1996-2001, and Meena team (see Meena page) joined as well:
Dr. Mira Aghi as research director/trainer,
Rachel Carnegie, creative advisor, Ram Mohan and his team in Mumbai, and a long list of African artists and researchers, national UNICEF focal points, as well as others mentioned in the credits of the media products, below.
The Sara videos remain very popular on YouTube and the comic books with users' guides, as well as other documents are available to view and/or download. (Note: Swahili, French, and Portuguese versions were also produced for some episodes and may be available from African NGOs or UNICEF offices.)
SARA COMIC BOOKS WITH FACILITATOR GUIDES & VIDEO LINKS