global | dream, save, do

A global investment in how to Plan, Save, Spend & Share.

Children’s Education Initiatives Around the World | Financial Empowerment

Children come to understand the value of money through an experience we can all relate to: “I want it. How do I get it?” Answering that question with positivity and confidence is the foundation of financial empowerment. To plan ahead for the things they want in life — from everyday needs to ambitious goals — kids need strategies. And the sooner they can learn them, the better.

Yet too few families have access to financial education or the resources to put even simple wishes within reach. According to the World Bank, more than 2.5 billion people worldwide live on less than $2 a day, and most do not have access to banks or the financial tools they need to build a better future.1 This is especially true for women, who in developing economies are 20 percent less likely than men to have a formal bank account.2

That’s why a new partnership between Sesame Workshop and MetLife Foundation is sowing the seeds of financial empowerment for families around the globe. Called “Dream, Save, Do,” this pioneering initiative is designed to build children’s aspirations and show how their everyday choices can help them achieve their dreams. The program is already reaching underserved families in Brazil and India, rolling out to China and Mexico by fall 2015 and up to six more countries over the next five years.

Kids learn about money by example. So we’re sending in the Sesame Street Muppets as role models for saving, spending, sharing and donating. Like Elmo, who, with help from his mom and dad, learns to navigate the sometimes fuzzy line between Wants and Needs. And the international cast of female Muppets — Bel from Brazil, Chamki from India, Lola from Mexico, and Lily from China — who keep girls at the center of the story by modeling how to reach their goals, and their family’s, too.

“Dream, Save, Do” comes to life through online toolkits like this one in India filled with engaging videos, multi-media activities for kids, and tips for parents and caregivers. The program also includes outreach efforts to engage those in the community who need it most.

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Like all of Sesame’s work, “Dream, Save, Do” is informed by intensive research and input from education experts and specialists on the ground. These efforts wouldn’t be possible without generous support of MetLife Foundation, which has committed $20 million to advance this initiative over the next five years. The funding, part of a $200 million, five-year commitment to financial inclusion, is fueling the creation of multi-media educational content — including games, songs, animated series, and more — that will reach close to 75 million people worldwide. It’s another milestone in MetLife Foundation’s long tradition of philanthropic giving and community involvement.

This effort is about much more than dollars and cents (or reals or rupees). The ability to make careful choices, plan, and save can have a huge influence on children’s health, education, and overall quality of life. By instilling positive attitudes and showing kids how to make plans and set personal goals, we’re building a foundation for lifelong habits and empowering families to navigate all kinds of choices, financial and otherwise.

In other words, this investment in early financial education is a down payment on a brighter future for kids and families around the world.

To learn more about Dream, Save, Do, please contact:

Beatrice Chow
Sesame Workshop
(212) 875-6586

Nandika Madgavkar
MetLife, Inc.
(908) 340-7537

1 The World Bank (2012). Who Are the Unbanked?: Uncovering the Financial Inclusion Gap.
2 The World Bank (2014). Expanding Women’s Access to Financial Services (http://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2013/04/01/banking-on-women-extending-womens-access-to-financial-services)