Monday, 18 October 2021 11:25 GMT

Viatris Inc. and Sesame Workshop Expand Availability of Resources in Middle East Region to Help Families Address Socio-Emotional Needs Through the Pandemic


(MENAFN- Fleishman Hillard) United Arab Emirates, 6 July 2021: As the global pandemic continues to impact the lives of families, children, and caregivers, Viatris, a new kind of global healthcare company, and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street and Ahlan Simsim, are releasing animated videos and other resources, now in Arabic, as part of Sesame Workshop’s ‘Caring for Each Other’ initiative to support the social and emotional needs of families and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent survey conducted by UNICEF to study the impact of COVID-19 on children across Middle East and North Africa it was reported that more than half of the respondents were struggling mentally and emotionally . Sesame Workshop’s ‘Caring for Each Other’ initiative has already reached families in over 100 countries and 41 languages. Today, Ahlan Simsim is launching new materials and videos in Arabic.

Made possible by the support of Viatris, the Arabic-language materials launching on and are designed to help young children talk through and name big feelings like stress and fear, encourage positive caregiving strategies and routines, and help families find ways to stay connected even when far apart. Viatris is committed to doing its part in support of public health needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our work with Sesame Workshop stems from our mission to empower people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life,” said Lara Ramsburg, Head of Corporate Affairs at Viatris. “From young children to parents, grandparents, and other caregivers, we hope these new resources will be of value to anyone who has experienced the emotional impact of the pandemic on their families. At Viatris, we’re committed to supporting social impact initiatives and partnerships that have the potential to have a lasting, positive effect on people, families and communities worldwide. We’re pleased to collaborate with Sesame Workshop, who has a long history of making a difference in the lives of children around the world.”

“Together with Viatris, we are providing strategies for children and families to cope with today’s challenges and foster emotional wellbeing for years to come,” said René Celaya, Vice President for Humaniatarian Programs at Sesame Workshop. “With so many routines upended, today’s release of materials featuring the engaging Muppets from our locally-produced Arabic-language show, Ahlan Simsim, will help children and their caregivers across the Middle East manage big feelings as families adapts to the impacts of the pandemic.”

Ayman Mokhtar, Regional President for Middle East, Turkey and Levant at Viatris, said: “Viatris is committed to support partnerships and initiatives that have a positive impact on our communities. COVID-19 has impacted our lives and the lives of our children with fear, worry and stress that will have an adverse effect that will have an impact on the well-being of our communities well beyond the pandemic period. We are happy to leverage the global initiative and make available useful and enjoyable resources to children and their caregivers across the Middle East.”

Starting this week, animations in Arabic will launch on a rolling basis and will be available on Ahlan Simsim YouTube . Families can watch, sing, and learn together as engaging Ahlan Simsim characters like Elmo and Gargur learn how to manage big feelings, keep routines, and build resilience. In one video, Elmo and his mom talk about big feelings, and Elmo’s dad helps him name and cope with the sense of fear of getting sick. In other videos, Grover and his grandmother celebrate a favorite family tradition together—even when they are far apart and can’t be together in person.

Additional topics include learning about persistence, building empathy, and taking time to reset. The resources are designed to help parents provide comfort, manage anxiety, and foster playful learning at home, and stay physically and mentally healthy. Additional information about Sesame Workshop and Viatris’ work together can be found here

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