The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project

Becoming better parents with Bebbo.

Entered in Media Partnership


When a child is born, a parent is born too. And every parent deserves a helping hand. In Kyrgyzstan, a young nation where 37.8% of the population are children, the need for effective parenting support is critical. UNICEF surveys reveal that over 70% of children experience some form of violence at home, and only 26.4% of preschool-age children attend kindergartens or other education programmes. Parenting support is scattered, and often inaccessible to many parents, especially in the rural areas. Recognizing the urgent need for accessible, reliable parenting resources, UNICEF launched “Bebbo” parenting application in November 2021. Bebbo provides parents of young children with expert advice and tools on young child health and development, nutrition, breastfeeding, early learning, and child safety. Once downloaded, Bebbo is available online and offline, in Russian and Kyrgyz language, making it more accessible to parents from different ethnic backgrounds and living in limited internet connectivity areas. Building on Bebbo's initial success, UNICEF partnered with the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation, Kyrgyzstan’s largest media provider. This collaboration resulted in "Bobok" (Child), a 100 episodes television series dedicated to positive parenting. Each 10-minute episode, inspired by Bebbo's content, addresses crucial parenting topics. Bobok episodes are aired on two channels run by the National Television and also uploaded to YouTube. By combining digital innovation with traditional media outreach, the goal is not just to provide information, but to catalyze a cultural shift towards nurturing, responsive parenting ultimately improving the outcomes for every young child in Kyrgyzstan.


With the aim to support parents of young children (0-6 year olds) in Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF launched the "Bebbo" digital parenting programme in November 2021. The app received success and positive feedback due to its comprehensive features, addressing a real need and through strategic promotional campaign reached more than 77,000 parents with a high percentage of the target parent population in rural areas. Still there was potential to build on this to reach masses through multi-channel approach combining digital innovation and traditional media. Recognizing the potential of taking Bebbo’s invaluable content to support more and more parents, UNICEF partnered with the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation (NTRBC), the largest media provider in Kyrgyzstan with continuous high reach across the population. UNICEF and NTRBC agreed to launch a creative and research-backed new TV show, "Bobok" (Child), on two of its channels, the main national channel and the children’s channel, Balastan. This collaboration aimed to promote positive parenting through multi-channel approach and make every parent in the country feel supported and equipped with research-based knowledge to raise thriving children. The execution phase began with the formation of a working group comprising members from UNICEF and NTRBC. The team meticulously planned the series' content, aligning it with the Bebbo application’s comprehensive guidance on child development from birth to the age of six. The guiding document was Bebbo’s content, which was adapted from the English language Bebbo app in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic. The "Bobok" series featured 100 ten-minute episodes, each delving into critical aspects of parenting, such as breastfeeding, early learning, immunization, screen time, parental well-being. Episodes included insights from experts and parents, creating a holistic and relatable approach to child development. The strategic use of the national channel and the children's Chanel ensured broad reach, targeting both general and parenting audiences. Key features of the execution include: • Diverse Expert Involvement: Each episode featured child development specialists, healthcare professionals, and experienced parents, providing a holistic perspective on parenting issues. • Cultural Sensitivity: Content was tailored to reflect Kyrgyz cultural norms and practices, ensuring relevance and acceptance among viewers. • Interactive Elements: The show incorporated Q&A segments and real-life scenarios, encouraging viewer engagement and practical application of the advice given. • Multi-platform Approach: While primarily aired on two national TV channels, episodes were also uploaded to YouTube, creating an anytime anywhere digital archive accessible to tech-savvy parents. • Continuous Feedback Loop: Regular viewer feedback and social media engagement were used to refine content and address emerging parenting concerns. Challenges Faced and Overcome Challenges faced included coordinating between digital and traditional media teams, ensuring consistent messaging across platforms, and adapting complex parenting concepts into engaging 10-minute episodes. These were overcome through regular cross-team meetings, expert inputs, detailed content strategy, and rigorous script reviews. This innovative blend of digital app and traditional TV programming represents a unique approach to parenting support, leveraging the strengths of both mediums to create a comprehensive, accessible resource for all parents in Kyrgyzstan.


Outcomes and Impact The combined impact of the Bebbo app and Bobok TV series has been significant, demonstrating the effectiveness of this innovative, multi-platform approach to parenting support in Kyrgyzstan. Bobok episodes average 500,000 viewers per broadcast, with a peak viewership of 750,000 for highinterest topics like child safety and early learning. Since the airing of "Bobok," there has been a significant increase in awareness and use of the Bebbo app overall, already reaching over 10% of the parents of young children in the country. This rapid growth in a short time demonstrates the effectiveness of combining traditional media and digital tools for social behaviour change. The partnership with NTRBC and the strategic airing of "Bobok" on high-reach channels successfully bridged the gap between technology and accessibility, especially in areas with limited internet connectivity. The series not only provided immediate parenting support but also fostered a broader shift towards positive parenting practices. Bebbo has become the third most popular free parenting app on the Playstore in Kyrgyzstan, with an average rating of 4.6. This achievement underscores the app's value and effectiveness, reflecting the successful integration of media and digital tools to support child development and parenting in Kyrgyzstan.


Video for Becoming better parents with Bebbo.

Entrant Company / Organization Name

UNICEF, National Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation


Entry Credits