Transforming Lives Through Ahlan Simsim

In 2017, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation unveiled the recipient of the inaugural 100&Change challenge. Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) were awarded a momentous $100 million grant to support their joint program Ahlan Simsim, which focused on providing support to the youngest children affected by the humanitarian crisis in the Syrian response region.

Ahlan Simsim Res-Intro

Being part of the 100&Change team that awarded this grant was an immense honor. This significant career milestone not only marked the culmination of a year-and-a-half-long journey to bring 100&Change to fruition, but the award also addressed an issue I care deeply about the health, well-being, and emotional support of young, vulnerable children.

Five years after the grant was awarded, the Ahlan Simsim team released their research findings. These findings showcase the profound impact that substantial and flexible grant funding can have on children and families. Over five years, Ahlan Simsim has reached one million children with direct services, and a staggering 23 million children have benefited from their television programming. Yet, the significance of these accomplishments extends far beyond the numbers, encompassing the enduring effects these services have had on children's learning and socio-emotional development.

Discover the impact of Ahlan Simsim on the education and development of children affected by crisis and conflict. The research conducted by NYU's Global TIES for Children reveals the effectiveness of integrating educational media with early childhood services in delivering significant learning gains. The findings demonstrate how Ahlan Simsim's innovative combination of media content and user-centered interventions positively influence literacy, numeracy, social-emotional skills, and emotional understanding while offering valuable insights to shape future programs in humanitarian contexts.

Please read MacArthur Foundation's blog, "A Year of Progress in 11 Weeks for the Most Hard-to-Reach Children," by Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee, for more insights.

Ahlan Simsim 23Million Reached

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