Sesame Workshop, known most for producing the children’s show, “Sesame Street” has recently done what no other studio has ever thought of – giving onscreen representation to the Rohingyas.
The organisation unveiled its first Rohingya Muppets Noor and Aziz last month as part of an educational media to help children in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh to build key early childhood skills through relatable educational content, which will also feature them speaking in the Rohingyan language.
Noor, whose full name Noor Yasmin, is characterised as a curious girl who likes asking questions and solving problems, while her brother Aziz is imaginative and likes to act out stories.
Says Sherrie Westin, president of Social Impact, Sesame Workshop, “Noor and Aziz are at the heart of our efforts to bring early education and learning through play to children and caregivers affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis, who have been impacted tremendously by the dual crises of displacement and the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Rooted in the rich Rohingya culture and informed by extensive research and input from Rohingya families, Noor and Aziz will bring the transformative power of playful learning to families at a time when it’s needed more than ever before,” she added.
The new Muppets is Sesame Workshop’s humanitarian collaborative project with LEGO Foundation, New York University’s Global TIES for Children, the International Rescue Committee, as well as Bangladesh’s development organisation Base Realignment and Closure.
|Sesame Street’s Grover interacting with a Rohingya child|
Cox’s Bazar is known to be the world’s largest refugee camp, homing more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees that fled Myanmar to escape violent military crackdowns and displacements that have been going on since 2016. The Myanmar government has continuously denied the accusations against them.
This is not the first humanitarian project done by the organisation. In 2019, Sesame Workshop joined forces with the International Rescue Committee to help Syrian refugee children through various learning programmes.