Kaja has to Visit the Hospital

Radio play for hospitalized children

Kaja is going to the hospital - with a bunny!

The radio play aims to introduce young children to hospitalization protocols (what to expect, who they will meet in the hospital) in an approachable, relatable manner, reducing the stress and anxiety that often accompany a child's hospital stay.

The radio play Kaja has to Visit the Hospital, alongside professional voice actors and protagonists selected at the audition of the Fiction Program Editorial, also features the participation of medical staff. The play was created in the framework of the B-AIR project, and is the first in a series of new artistic works being developed by Radio Slovenia in cooperation with expert co-workers. It will be available to hospitalized children on the dedicated Hospital Radio platform.

When a child is admitted to the hospital, it is a stressful event both for them and their parents. Whether it is just for a few days, let alone weeks or even months of stay, it is important that the child and their family understand the illness as this determines how well they will cope with it, or at least adapt. Likewise, it is important how they experience the treatment which might include a hospital stay. In this process of dealing with a new environment and overcoming illness, art can also provide comfort.

Andrej Adamek and Janja Hana Jamnikar, two hospital educators, were aware of this and so they created the puppet theatre play Kaja has to Visit the Hospital. Radio artists transferred the play to the radio medium, where the girl Kaja meets people she will be encountering at the hospital. With their help she is familiarized with admission, pre-procedure preparation, the procedure, the hospital stay and finally going home. The purpose of the radio play is to provide children with information about what happens when they are admitted to the hospital.

Andrej Adamek, educator at the University Children's Hospital, who co-authored the puppet show the play is based on, stated: "My colleague Janja Hana Jamnikar and I created the puppet show three years ago, and we have performed it for children more than thirty times. Due to the Covid-19 situation, we were unable to perform it for quite a while. With the creation of the radio play it will now be accessible anytime, anywhere, and certainly to a greater number of children who, for various reasons, have to spend time in the hospital."

Dr. med. Katarina Borovnik, pediatric doctor who voiced the role of doctor Breda in the radio play said: "Becoming a children's physician, that is, a pediatric specialist, and helping the youngest in our society has been my great wish since I started medical school. It is always a challenge to engage with the child so that they are not afraid of medical examination, while at the same time being dedicated to the parents, the most rigorous evaluators of our work. It is also fulfilling, since children's authenticity and smiles so often brighten up your day. Taking part in a radio play dedicated to children was something new, fun, and memorable!"

Hospital Radio is being created in cooperation with the University Children's Hospital, the hospital's school and kindergarten, experts from a variety of domains and artists and artistic organizations who contribute their knowledge and art.

Saša Rakef Perko, režiserka (Foto: RTV Slovenija)

Saška Rakef, the radio play's director and head of the B-Air project, said: "When we were deciding whether to use actors for the radio play in line with our regular practice, or give priority to authentic communication with children spending time in the hospital, the decision was quick and clear. The involvement of the medical staff, who not only colored the narrative with their experiences but also advised us in the process, contemplating with us how to design the scenes so that they realistically reflect the stages of the child's hospitalization, is the added value we were looking for. I am delighted that the result is a documentary play on the quality level of other radio works; with an additional mission. To (re)shape the hospital environment into a less stressful one for all the children undergoing treatment."


Text authors • Janja Hana Jamnikar, Andrej Adamek

Adaptation author • Suzana Tratnik

Director • Saška Rakef

Dramaturge • Vilma Štritof

Music designer • Darja Hlavka Godina

Sound designer • Urban Gruden


Kaja • Luna Khaleesi Meglič

Brina • Mila Mrak

Mom • Sabina Kogovšek

Dad • Matej Puc

Admission nurse • Barbara Rojnik

Janja, clinical nurse • Slavica Ravnik

Doctor Breda • Katarina Borovnik

Surgeon • Igor M Ravnik

Anesthetist • Vladimir Bricelj

Hospital educator • Janja Hana Jamnikar

Recorded in the studios of Radio Slovenia in October 2021

Production • B-AIR, Editorial of the Radio Slovenia Fiction Program