Bringing hope and opportunity to a generation of refugee children

28 million children have been displaced in the global refugee crisis—and that number is on the rise. Many have lost homes and loved ones, seen violence, and endured trauma. These experiences have long-term effects on children’s well-being and far-reaching implications for society at large.

But we can help.

When children in crisis have opportunities to learn, they can grow and thrive—into a better future. Together, Sesame Street and the IRC are implementing a transformative early childhood development program designed to reflect the unique experiences of families affected by the Syrian crisis. Reaching children, parents, and caregivers wherever they are—from classrooms to health clinics to mobile devices—the program addresses immediate needs and helps build a strong foundation for future well-being.


100&Change Award

Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee are thrilled and honored to have been awarded MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant for our proposal to bring early education to refugee children. The global competition awarded $100 million to a single proposal promising “real and measurable progress” toward solving a critical problem of our time.


Our early childhood development program will be the largest in the history of humanitarian response, bringing hope and opportunity to a generation of refugee children in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. It will also serve as a scalable model that has the potential to impact the way the humanitarian system responds to refugee crises around the world.


Learn more about the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition.

Follow Our Ongoing Work

“If we can reach these children, we can teach these children. By giving them the benefits of early education, Sesame Workshop and IRC can change their trajectory and afford them the chance for a successful future.”

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Sherrie Westin

EVP Global Impact and Philanthropy

Sesame Workshop

“Our partnership with Sesame Workshop will help transform children’s lives by making sure that their social-emotional needs are met so they are able to receive an education, contribute to their community, and succeed as adults.”

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David Miliband

President and CEO

International Rescue Committee