Harnessing the power of the Muppets, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, will reach 400 teachers and 8,000 school children in India with hygiene education through interactive videos and materials, in partnership with World Vision. By empowering children with the knowledge and skills they need to stay healthy, we will promote sustainable behavior change. Muppets have a unique ability to reach children, modeling behaviors and giving them the vocabulary to talk about taboo topics.
Every day, over 800 children die from preventable diseases caused by poor water, and a lack of sanitation and hygiene. India has the highest number of diarrhea-related deaths among children under 5 in the world. Water, sanitation and hygiene is also a gender issue, as girls in India are disproportionally tasked with cleaning toilets, fetching and boiling water, among other duties in households and communities.
Using our proven content, Sesame Workshop will train 400 teachers to integrate health messages and activities into their curriculum. Our Global Health Ambassador Muppet, Raya, along with her friend Elmo, is already teaching children in 11 countries about clean water, handwashing with soap, and proper latrine use. This initiative will bring Raya to India, reaching 8,000 children through after-school programs with culturally appropriate videos, activities and books.
Independent research found that our pilot programs led to measurable improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among children in India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions like ours can generate broad public health benefits that reduce multiple diseases and contribute to non-disease related outcomes such as gender equity and school attendance. The best part? Healthy habits are contagious-children who learn new behaviors teach their friends and families.