Monday, July 02, 2007

I is for International Programming

Today I finally got around to watching The World According to Sesame Street. It's been sitting in my home for a few months now waiting to be viewed and I finally got around to it.

And I'm glad I did.

I've always been a fan of Henson and, thereby, of Sesame Street / Sesame Workshop. After watching today, I'm even more a fan of those Sesame folk.

If you're not aware, The World According to Sesame Street is a documentary about the Sesame Workshop's efforts to produce local programming for preschoolers around the world, specifically in Bangladesh, where many children start working as young as five years of age because they can't afford to stay in school, in Kosovo, where the conflict between Serbians and Albanians has fostered mistrust and hatred among its children as well as its adults, and in South Africa, where HIV/AIDS is running rampant in children's lives, leaving tens of thousands orphaned and many more infected.

What became infinitely clear while watching was the genuine dedication, the amount of heart, that these people, both from the American base and from the local production groups have to the children they are seeking to reach with education and hope.

It was shameful how members of American media and congress responded to the HIV positive Muppet character in South Africa's show with "moral outrage". Thankfully the hubbub died down quite quickly. Yeesh, people. Give your heads a shake!

Press on, Monsters and Muppets! Into the fray!

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