Minister Manickchand Meets with Sesame Workshop
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…about bringing Sesame Street’s educational programming to Guyana
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Priya Manickchand, and Bayney Karran, Guyana’s permanent ambassador to the United States, last Thursday met with senior executives at Sesame Workshop in New York, New York, to discuss collaboration with the Government of Guyana to bring Sesame Street’s educational television programming to Guyana’s children.
The meeting was facilitated by the Margaret Clemons Foundation, one of the Government of Guyana’s partners in ending violence against women and children. Attending the meeting from Sesame were Mel Ming, Chief Operating Officer; Charlotte Cole, Senior Vice President Global Education; Lisa Annunziata, Vice President Production Operations Global TV; Jorge Baxter, Director International Research; Christopher Capobianco, Senior Director Project Management; Nancy Stevenson, Director Character Design; and Alysia Christiani, Studio Manager Marketing & Creative Services

The meeting focused on how Sesame could contribute and collaborate with the Government of Guyana to create programming to be aired on the Guyana Learning Channel that the Government launched on April 1 of this year.
Discussions included programming that addresses gender equality, gender based violence, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, the importance of exercise, public safety themes (wear your seatbelt, look both ways before crossing, don’t litter), ethnic tolerance and understanding and appreciating differences, and respect for seniors. The Minister described the need to inform children of their rights to live free of abuse and of their responsibilities as children in a way that is appropriate for young children.

Discussions included beginning a long-term sustainable relationship between Guyana and Sesame Workshop, a not for profit organization providing educational outreach to children across the globe. The minister discussed creating culturally relevant programming to include the possible introduction of local Guyanese puppet characters to join the Sesame family of puppets. The discussion also touched upon creating additional capacity within Guyana’s robust artistic community by bringing training in puppeteering and film-making to Guyana. 
Sesame is poised to make a near immediate contribution of some of their programming, including some of their public safety programming. The meeting marks the beginning of a long-term relationship and commitment to bring entertaining and relevant educational programming to the children of Guyana.

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