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Sesame Workshop helps educate displaced kids in refugee communities

Sesame Workshop helps educate displaced kids in refugee communities
[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]





For nearly 50 years, Sesame Street has taught children at home. But what about kids who have no home? “Those impacted the most from displacement–young children–are receiving the least,” says Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s president of global impact. In late 2017, the organization received $100 million from the Mac­Arthur Foundation and expanded its efforts with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Sesame developed books, puzzles, flash cards, and videos in several Arabic and Kurdish dialects, and trained IRC professionals to work directly with refugee kids in camps and communities. Direct services have been available to children in Jordan and Lebanon since November 2018, and will reach Syria and Iraq in mid-2019. Sesame is also developing new Muppets for a locally produced Arabic-language TV show that will debut in September 2019. In December, the Lego Foundation awarded Sesame $100 million toward building content and play-based safe spaces for Rohingya children who have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh.

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