A global pharmaceutical company and Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, a television show teaching children since 1969, announced a new effort to help families cope with transitions and uncertainty stemming from COVID-19 on 13 August. Free digital content kits featuring Sesame Street characters will be made available through a US$1 million donation from Mylan. Through the donation, Sesame Workshop is creating a series of educational resources and engaging videos to meet socio-emotional needs that families across generations around the world are experiencing. The new resources available in multiple languages as part of Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other initiative will help families navigate difficult topics and address emotions many children and caregivers are experiencing such as anxiety, frustration, sadness and grief. Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan, says the resources are designed to help families build resilience, establish comforting routines and foster a sense of hope and optimism, as well as celebrate frontline workers like healthcare providers and their families, who are facing unique pandemic-related challenges. She says Mylan will also share the resources with its 35 000 employees around the world so they and their families can also benefit from this initiative. “While our company and many other members of the global healthcare community have been busy responding to the physical need for care and access to medicine amid the evolving COVID-19, the social and emotional toll of these times has continued to grow. Around the world, children and caregivers may be experiencing a sense of loss, isolation or uncertainty and aligning our efforts with Sesame Workshop to support families during this time of need provides a wonderful opportunity to help,” says the CEO. Robert J. Coury, executive chairperson of Mylan, says this effort forms part of Mylan’s continued commitment to ensure access to medicines, services and social impact initiatives that deliver better health for a better world. He says for nearly 60 years, the company has been committed to providing access to medicine, resources and support through their community outreach efforts and are proud to ensure that legacy continues with Sesame Workshop as they continue supporting long-term recovery efforts around the world. Sherrie Westin, president of Social Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, says their group knows how important it is to establish a foundation for overcoming challenges and building resilience from a young age. She says with the tremendous uncertainty children and families are facing the world over because of COVID-19, they are grateful for Mylan’s support as they equip families with tools needed to overcome challenges and thrive into the future. According to Westin, the new resources will be released on a rolling basis starting in fall around the world including the United States and markets in Latin America, Europe, India and South Africa. She says digital content will be distributed through a wide range of channels including platforms, as well as through on-the-ground community providers and partners to ensure those in difficult to access areas benefit from the free materials.
“The Caring for Each Other initiative to help families stay healthy in response to the uncertainty facing them during COVID-19, has reached families in over 90 countries in nearly 40 languages since March 2020. SesameStreet.org/caring is regularly updated to meet the needs of families as the situation evolves with free resources to help parents provide comfort and manage anxiety, as well as help with creating routines, fostering playful learning at home and staying physically and mentally healthy,” says Westin.