By Stewart and Dena Stewart
When Hirokazu “Hiro” Yoshikawa, co-Director of the Global TIES for Children Center at NYU was asked by an associate at the International Rescue Committee (IRC; they provide humanitarian services) if he and his team would partner with them to apply for a grant, he said sure – with no expectation that the IRC would get it.
Well, out of 2,000 submissions, the IRC and Sesame Workshop were selected by The MacArthur Foundation to be the recipients of the first 100&Change award, a large grant intended to create real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time. The focus of the initiative is on early childhood development services for Syrian refugee and host community families in the Middle East.
Whether he authored or edited the book, we credit Dr. Yoshikawa
With both organizations providing the educational component (TV shows, new Muppet characters, and on-the-ground services for Syrian refugee and host community families in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Syria), NYU led 6 years of research for the project. This research demonstrates the emotional, educational, and social benefits of the program models implemented in Jordan and Lebanon; the interview gives more details on these exciting results!