Educating children displaced by conflict and persecution

The Problem

There are 12 million children under age eight who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution, and that number is on the rise. These children face multiple adversities, including limited access to education and lower academic achievement, loss of loved ones, and violence – experiences that have a long-lasting, negative impact on their health and behavior. When children in crisis have opportunities to learn, they are better able to contribute to economic development in their home countries.

The Solution

The International Rescue Committee and Sesame Workshop will develop and deliver multi-media content to meet the critical educational needs of children affected by conflict. The partnership will provide learning opportunities for refugee children, as well as their parents and caregivers, in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, enabling them to grow and thrive.

The new educational content will feature the trusted and recognized Sesame Street Muppets—adapted to reflect and mitigate the adverse effects of experiences of refugee children and their parents. Multiple digital delivery platforms plus printed materials will be used to reach the largest possible number of children and their families. The project will tap extensive distribution networks reaching refugee and host communities via schools, community centers, social protection programs, and health clinics.

The initiative will create programs and culturally relevant content for children, as well as tools to help parents and caregivers more effectively engage with them to build resiliency and support learning. It will establish an evidence-based model that can be adapted and redeployed by other organizations to reach millions more children in crisis.

MacArthur Managing Director Cecilia Conrad discusses this bold solution.

More Information

View the Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee project website ›

Project Lead 

Sherrie Westin
Executive Vice President, Global Impact & Philanthropy
Sesame Workshop

Twitter: @SesameWorkshop@SesameStreet@YellowFeather
Facebook: @SesameWorkshop 
YouTube: SesameWorkshop

Project Lead 
Sarah Smith

Senior Director, Education
International Rescue Committee

Twitter: @theIRC 
Facebook: @InternationalRescueCommittee
YouTube: International Rescue Committee

Project Contacts
Lizzie Weinreb Fishman
Vice President, Strategic Communications, Sesame Workshop

Flavia Draganus
Director of Communications, International Rescue Committee



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