This profile was prepared when Adelaida Trujillo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Adelaida Trujillo understands that children want to watch television, and will do so regardless of the content. Why not, then, make sure that there is an educational alternative to the violent and inane material that currently pervades the airwaves? Adelaida seeks to influence the development, creativity, and sense of personal and national identity of young people by presenting them with a large variety of settings, ideas, and values that reflect Colombia's cultural richness. Given the ongoing conflict there, such programs constitute a key instrument for the construction of peace by illustrating the value of non-violence and conflict resolution. Adelaida promotes her idea through a dual-purpose System of Scholastic Television, offering an educational alternative both inside and outside of the classroom. Believing that television has been vastly underutilized for positive purposes, Adelaida sees medium as a pedagogical tool with vast potential because of its accessibility to almost everyone. Although Brazil and Mexico have recognized the importance of children's television as an effective learning tool and are developing frameworks to promote it, Adelaida's organization is the only one in Colombia or any other Andean country to incorporate governmental entities, the private sector, educators, and the viewing public into her strategy. She works to generate public support to press government to establish a consistent and solid framework for the production and diffusion of high-quality children's programming. Adelaida also involves teachers and students in discussions of how children's programming can best take into account children's different tastes, cognitive development styles, and educational needs that are not met through adult television. Her work includes the core themes of harmonious coexistence, construction of values, and conflict resolution, all of which are presented in a creative and entertaining format.