H is for Haiti! Mercy Corps partners with Sesame Workshop to help Haiti's children

Haiti, June 24, 2010

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Mercy Corps has teamed with Sesame Workshop to integrate Elmo, Cookie Monster, and other Sesame Street characters into the emotional recovery work we're doing with children in Haiti.

The partnership brings engaging, educational programming to Haiti's children. Sesame Workshop has dubbed one DVD featuring two Sesame Home Videos into Creole, and produced three short original films shot in Haiti specific to the country’s post-earthquake challenges.

Mercy Corps will distribute at least 1,000 DVDs of this programming to schools, orphanages and other child-friendly facilities in the country.

The Sesame Street films provide entertainment and learning opportunities for children, and stress the importance of physical activity, healthy eating, teamwork, and play.

  • Cinderelmo, starring Keri Russell, Kathy Najimy and Oliver Platt, follows the trials and tribulations of Elmo as he escapes from his evil stepmother and seeks true love with a princess.
  • Happy Healthy Monsters features Wyclef Jean, India Arie, other celebrities and a host of Muppets promoting healthy, active lifestyles.

Accompanying the DVD releases are three live action films created by Sesame Workshop and the filmmaker Linda Costigan after the earthquake. The films, built around original footage shot in Haiti in partnership with a local production team, promote cooperation, self-esteem, creativity and hope.

  • “Helping Hands” features children helping each other and adults in such activities as preparing food and pitching a tent
  • “I Am Haiti” reinforces the message that children will be key to Haiti’s recovery
  • “Recycled Car” uses a metaphor of two young boys building a toy car to suggest that Haitians will build their country anew.

Read the full press release.