The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Sesame Workshop — the nonprofit, educational organization behind Sesame Street — are working together to give millions of refugee children in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and northern Iraq the support they need to learn, grow and thrive.

The Syrian refugee crisis is the defining humanitarian issue of our time. It challenges our morals, imagination, leadership, and global stability. Failing to act can cast a long shadow: a lost generation of children whose lives are forever defined by their experience of war.

Few Syrian children have opportunities to learn and play; many are neglected; some have been exposed to extreme violence and experienced unspeakable trauma that will have a long-lasting impact on their health and future. They are at risk of “toxic stress,” a biological response to prolonged and severe adversity that disrupts a child’s brain development.

But children are resilient, and if we can reach them early, we can reduce this damage and have a positive influence on their lives. Research shows that nurturing care and learning can reverse the effects of toxic stress, and skills developed in early childhood last a lifetime.

That’s where the IRC and Sesame Workshop are determined to help.

We will combine Sesame Street’s history of proven educational content with the IRC’s decades of assistance in crisis-affected areas to deliver a suite of culturally relevant programming and multimedia content tailored for the needs of refugee children and their caregivers.

David Miliband, President and CEO of the IRC, said:

“Our partnership with Sesame Street will help transform children’s lives by making sure that their social-emotional needs are met so they are able to receive an education, contribute to their community and succeed as adults.”

(Source: International Rescue Committee)