The Common Good
January-February 2002

If These Walls Could Talk

by Rose Marie Berger, Jodi Hochstedler | January-February 2002

Karmen is an animated building whose mission is to harbor peace within her dilapidated

Karmen is an animated building whose mission is to harbor peace within her dilapidated walls. She is also the star of Search for Common Ground’s new children’s program "Nashe Maalo" ("Our Neighborhood") airing to top ratings in Skopje, Macedonia. Karmen selects six children from Macedonian, Roma, Turkish, and Albanian backgrounds and creates an opportunity for them to meet. By leading them on journeys through her secret doorways, she provides them with the opportunity to see and learn about the world from each other’s perspectives.

The series’ blend of drama and educational curriculum not only appeals to children but is also effective in delivering its message of peace and ethnic understanding. During its first season, "Nashe Maalo" was viewed by 75 percent of the children in Macedonia. Before watching the series, evaluators found, only 30 percent of Macedonian kids would have invited a child from a different ethnic group to their home to play. After only eight episodes, that figure increased to 60 percent.

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