Today, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has made available online the English version of a puppet show, "Children on board – WCC - We Care about Children", that explains the work of the WCC to children.
Divided into ten video chapters, the special episode was commissioned and co-developed by the WCC as a tool to support the Churches' Commitments to Children, which is to promote meaningful participation by children and adolescents. "We have identified several member churches asking support for the implementation of Commitment 2. That helped us to invest in the development of child-focused material", said WCC senior advisor on children's rights Frederique Seidel.
Led by the child-puppets Théo and Popette, the show presents their reflections and discoveries concerning the work of the WCC, enlightened by the "grown-up" Mme. Florence Auvergne-Abric, the author of "Theopopettes" who also takes part in the puppet show guiding the two protagonists in their journey.
During the show, Madam Florence gently steers the puppets to a conclusion:
“We could even say that on this boat, we want more rights for children. The right to have a place to be safe, the right to be treated when we are ill, the right to be protected if we are disabled, the right to have enough to eat, the right to be in a family, the right to play, the right to go to school…”
Seidel said that this special episode of Theopopettes is an important resource for churches. “We want to fill the gap of materials to engage with very young audiences in summer camps, church-run schools and Sunday schools", explained Seidel. "The ecumenical movement brings hope to the church through joint efforts, but very few children know what ecumenism is".
Theopopettes was created by the "Service de Catéchèse" of the Protestant Church of Geneva to convey engaging and accessible messages of the Bible to 4-10-year-old children. The local success of "Theopopettes" brought the artists to other cantons of Switzerland and an international tour for churches in Belgium and France.
Churches, Sunday schools and church-run schools are encouraged to share their feedback and experience in using the episodes with children to animate discussions with children on their participation in the church. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org