METLIFE FOUNDATION AND SESAME WORKSHOP PARTNER TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES TO LOW-INCOME FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN
New York, November 20, 2013
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that MetLife Foundationhas committed $20 million over the next five years to Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, to advance financial capability among low and moderate-income families with young children throughout the world. The funding, which is part of MetLife Foundation’s $200 million, five-year commitment to financial inclusion, will create educational content and multimedia programs that will reach close to 75 million people worldwide.
“Both MetLife and Sesame Workshop have long histories of supporting the communities in which we work. Through our new partnership, we will improve the well-being of millions of families throughout the world,” said Frans Hijkoop, chief human resources officer, MetLife, Inc. and MetLife Foundation board member. “Together, we will make significant progress in ensuring families have access to the knowledge they need to put them on the path to financial security.”
“Since 2009, Sesame Workshop and MetLife Foundation have effectively partnered to bring critical messages and content to children and caregivers, using the power of multiple media platforms and theSesame Street Muppets,” said H. Melvin Ming, president and CEO, Sesame Workshop. “With this new commitment, we are expanding our partnership to address the essential issue of financial inclusion by including practical everyday lessons of basic numeracy, self-regulation and other key social skills to provide valuable educational experiences and resources. Targeting caregivers, we will mount an impactful global initiative to build financial empowerment around the world, improving their prospects for a brighter, more secure future.”
According to the World Bank, more than 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day, and most lack access to basic financial services that can help build a better future1. Through their new partnership, MetLife Foundation and Sesame Workshop will create research-based programs and educational content intended to increase knowledge about financial strategies among low-income families worldwide and to help them realize their financial goals.
The organizations will work together to build a coalition of local partnerships around the world to help deliver these programs to families. In addition, research will be at the heart of their approach to this initiative. Research will be used to drive the creation of initial messages and then to gauge reach, understanding, utilization, and educational and social impact.
This new initiative will reach up to 10 countries over five years and will be specifically tailored to address the needs of families in each targeted country. In 2014, it is expected to launch in Brazil, China, India and Mexico, and the program will expand to Europe and the Middle East in the coming years. The program will also take advantage of multiple platforms relevant to each country and may include digital media, broadcast content, community outreach, local events and seminars, and MetLife employee and volunteer engagement opportunities.
“Sesame Workshop has a proven track record of educating communities in need worldwide and positively impacting behavior,” said Dennis White, CEO and president, MetLife Foundation. “We see our partnership with Sesame Workshop as a powerful way to advance our new vision for financial inclusion throughout the world, and we look forward to collaborating over the next five years to help more families prepare for their futures.”
MetLife Foundation and Sesame Workshop have previously partnered to effectively bring critical healthy habits messaging and content to children and caregivers in Brazil, India, Mexico and the United States.
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. MetLife Foundation is affiliated to MetLife, Inc. a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org
1 The World Bank (2012). Who Are the Unbanked?: Uncovering the Financial Inclusion Gap.