“The children now talk to God as their friend,” says Marianne Daou, explaining the difference her program Allo Marianne has been making in viewers’ lives. The program has been encouraging Arabic-speaking children throughout some very tough times in 2021, helping them lean on God, grow in understanding, and model His love to others.
“Thank you to the SAT-7 KIDS team for encouraging our kids to do the right thing. My children know God because of you, and I feel very comfortable leaving my kids to watch SAT-7 KIDS alone,” says Nahia from Egypt, whose son watches the program.
Allo Marianne, a worship and teaching program on SAT-7 KIDS, was launched to support children in the beginning of the pandemic. Since then, it has responded weekly to evolving situations, including violence in the Holy Land and the crisis in Lebanon that has plunged children into poverty and insecurity. Marianne has continued to guide viewers to turn to God and addressed topics including forgiveness, self-talk, empathy, learning through failure, self-confidence, and stress through a biblical lens.
“It’s beautiful to see kids being open, able to relate to the topic discussed, and sharing their personal opinions. They learn to do the same when they hear us being vulnerable and talking about our own stories. I am happy to teach the kids the virtue of honesty and transparency.”
“I learned a lot from Allo Marianne, like how to get closer to God. I noticed many things I didn’t know before. I also began to share with my parents and to respect others. I love the program a lot,” says Mabrouk, a young viewer from Egypt.
Other topics, explains Marianne, have included integrity, anti-bullying, and disability awareness. The response from committed fans, many of whom call in every week, remains moving and motivating for the program’s team.
“The beautiful thing is that every time we discuss different topics, we hear the kids support the teaching from their own experiences,” says Marianne. “Last week, we were talking about ‘What would Jesus do in a hard situation, for example, when we might be tempted to cheat in a test?’ And the children were opening up, sharing real stories of a time when they decided not to cheat, and God was faithful to them and they received high marks. And others were really honest, saying they had made a bad decision and how they learned from their mistakes.
“We can see the impact of the topics discussed on children’s lives,” Marianne continues. “When we talked about bullying, a boy shared that he sometimes hits his sister and teases her. But after some time, we asked about them, and he said he is now being more respectful.”
Another highlight for Marianne is hearing from a committed viewer who has a learning disability. “She shares her goals and how it is her dream to come and visit us. She says that she waits every Thursday to talk to us because we’re her true friends.”
The program also encourages children to memorize Bible verses, so they can return to them for encouragement. “Some children send us homemade videos of them saying whole paragraphs from the Bible, which is amazing. They also memorize the songs that we sing weekly, and you can see how encouraged and motivated they are to learn them. Most viewers will say their favorite part of the show is when the band and I sing.”
Each episode of the program ends with prayer, and recently children have been asking to lead the prayers themselves. “Now,” says Marianne, “they talk to God as their friend.”
*All viewer names have been changed to protect identities.