By Allison Watkinson
Sesame Workshop and MetLife Foundation have announced a new phase of their partnership aiding disadvantaged groups in Latin America.
The initiative is called Dream, Save, Do: Financial Empowerment for Underserved Populations in Brazil and Mexico, and has been running for seven years.
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been teaching children since 1969.
The organization is present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities involved.
“Together with MetLife Foundation, we are committed to giving children and families strategies and tools to successfully plan for the future,” said President of Sesame Workshop Sherrie Westin. “As part of our mission to help children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder, this new phase will support young children across Brazil and Mexico in building the financial health and resilience needed to prepare them for school and life.”
The MetLife Foundation is focused on expanding opportunities for low and moderate-income people around the world. They partner with nonprofit organizations and social enterprises to create financial-health solutions and build stronger communities. Their work has reached more than 17.3 million low and moderate-income individuals in 42 countries.
“We’re proud to support Sesame Workshop to expand this important work dedicated to helping families around the world build a more confident future,” said Tia Hodges, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “In this new phase, our shared goal is to build the mindset, skills, and behaviors needed to advance financial health in communities that have been underserved by financial inclusion efforts.”
The new phase will launch this month with a focus on historically disadvantaged groups. This includes rural communities, indigenous people in Mexico, women, people of African descent in Brazil, and children.
The project will feature animated and live action segments, interactive games, comics, songs, activity sheets, and caregiver guides featuring the licensed Sesame Street Muppets. Dream, Save, Do plans to reach children and families through a five-pronged approach.
The organizations will utilize mass media in their efforts. They will air brand-new and relevant existing Dream, Save, Do content on local and public state-level broadcasts.
Sesame and Metlife will also be creating partnerships with select public education systems to address the needs and perspectives of prioritized groups. Training materials will be provided to educators to incorporate a diversity and inclusion lens in their lessons.
Content and activities will be integrated into the work of civil society organizations, allowing families to engage with the content in safe spaces. A network of partnerships will be secured in both countries spanning education and community-based organizations.
MetLife associates and employees in Mexico and Brazil will participate in the Dream, Save, Do program by contributing to local community engagement efforts.
Since 2015, Sesame Workshop and MetLife Foundation have collaborated aross nine countries in disparate regions to increase financial stability for families. Dream, Save, Do has helped children and the adults in their lives set goals, make plans to reach them, and understand that the choices they make can help them achieve their goals.
Dream, Save, Do uses Sesame Workshop’s proven research-driven process and the unique power of the Sesame Street characters to reach audiences both at a mass scale and through local engagement. Results from the first two phases of the initiative showed positive impact. Children are saving more, understand the need for planning, and have higher aspirations. Adults who were engaged with the project showed positive changes in their behavior as well.
The changes included increased conversations about financial matters with their children, increased awareness of what their children are thinking about finances and their futures, confidence in giving children their own money to increase financial independence; and letting their children make their own spending decisions.
As families continue to cope with uncertainty stemming from the global pandemic, the Dream, Save, Do resources will help caregivers build resilience, plan for the future, and prepare for potential setbacks.