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

Tuesday 6 Jul 2021


‘Caring for Each Other’ Initiative Includes Animations and Materials now Available in Arabic

Materials feature AhlanSimsim Muppets to support the emotional and social well-being of Children and Caregivers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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 AhlanSimsim,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 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 ofCorporate Affairs atViatris. “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,” saidRené Celaya, Vice President for Humaniatarian Programs at Sesame Workshop. “With so many routines upended, today’s release of materials featuring the engaging Muppets fromour 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.”

Dorsaf Essoussi, Regional President for North Africa , Russia and the CIS Region at Viatris, said: “COVID-19 will impact our lives and the lives of our children and the well-being of our communities even beyond the pandemic period. Viatris is committed toleveraging thisglobal initiative and makingavailable useful and enjoyable resources to children and their caregivers across North Africa and Egypt.”

Starting this week, animations in Arabic will launch on a rolling basis and will be available Families can watch, sing, and learn together as engaging AhlanSimsim characters like Elmo andGargur 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.

About Viatris

Viatris Inc. (NASDAQ: VTRS) is a new kind of healthcare company, empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life. We provide access to medicines, advance sustainable operations, develop innovative solutions and leverage our collective expertise to connect more people to more products and services through our one-of-a-kind Global Healthcare Gateway®. Formed in November 2020, Viatris brings together scientific, manufacturing and distribution expertise with proven regulatory, medical and commercial capabilities to deliver high-quality medicines to patients in more than 165 countries and territories. Viatris' portfolio comprises more than 1,400 approved molecules across a wide range of therapeutic areas, spanning both non-communicable and infectious diseases, including globally recognized brands, complex generic and branded medicines, a growing portfolio of biosimilars and a variety of over-the-counter consumer products. With a global workforce of approximately 45,000, Viatris is headquartered in the U.S., with global centers in Pittsburgh, Shanghai and Hyderabad, India. Learn moreat  and connect with us on Twitter

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve.

About AhlanSimsim

From the creators of Iftah Ya Simsim and Sesame Street shows around the world, Ahlan Simsim is an Arabic-language version of Sesame Street that follows the adventures of Basma and Jad, two best friends exploring their world. Each episode features familiar Muppet friends, animated characters, and trusted adults who help our characters learn how to identify and manage big feelings—with lots of fun, laughter, and learning along the way.

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