Sesame Workshop, Planet Water Debut Educational Program on World Water Day
Hong Kong, 22 March 2012 – Today, simultaneous with World Water Day, Planet Water and Sesame Workshop rolled out an innovative educational program on water-health and hygiene across the Asia-Pacific region. The program is sponsored by J.P. Morgan and funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. The program, which features some of Sesame Street’s much-loved characters, including Elmo, forms part of the Asia Water-for-Life Project collaboration between the three organizations.
The World Water Day kick-off was held in Mataram, Indonesia. The educational program will be rolled-out in the Philippines, India, and Vietnam over the next few months.
The multi-media program teaches children life-saving lessons about water health and hygiene, including germs, how they spread, and how to incorporate hygienic practices, such as hand washing, into their everyday lives. It also includes a series of local market public service television announcements promoting the same essential lessons.
The launch of the program follows a week-long social media campaign involving water hygiene messaging posted to Sesame Workshop, J.P. Morgan Community, and Planet Water's social media sites. The sites can reach a combined audience of more than 3.5 million people.
World Water Day also marks the beginning of ten Planet Water AquaTower deployments in Mataram to be completed and operational by April 10. Each AquaTower produces 10,000 liters of clean, safe drinking water per day - enough to support the daily drinking water requirements of up to 1,000 people.
The Asia Water-for-Life Project was announced in September 2011 and aims to provide clean safe water and education on water-health and hygiene to disadvantaged communities across the Asia-Pacific region.
Through grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, 92 AquaTowers will be installed across the region by July 2012. It is also anticipated that the program’s educational content will reach approximately 50,000 school children in its first year.
“The Asia Water-for-Life Project is an extremely important initiative and J.P. Morgan is delighted to continue its support for Planet Water and Sesame Workshop,” said Gaby Abdelnour, J.P. Morgan’s Asia-Pacific Chairman and CEO. “It’s essential that we work together to ensure the success of the Asia Water-for-Life Project and help bring clean water to those communities in need.”
“The completion of the latest AquaTower deployments in Indonesia is a great way to kick-off this educational initiative,” said Planet Water Founder and CEO Mark Steele. “Working with J.P. Morgan and Sesame Workshop helps us to educate children on water-health and hygiene thus providing them with the necessary knowledge to educate others, such as family and friends, and to become catalysts for change.”
“We are thrilled to launch this material today. This is a greatly valued opportunity for us to deliver engaging educational content to children through television and outreach materials,” added Sesame Workshop President and CEO H. Melvin Ming.
Reports published by the World Health Organization and UNICEF show that 884 million people in the world do not have improved sources of drinking of water, 55% (482 million) of whom live in Asia. Each year, 3.6 million people die of water-related disease. Unsafe drinking water is a major cause of diarrhea, which is the second leading killer of children, with more than 4,000 children under the age of five dying each day. According to the United Nations, hand washing with soap at critical times can reduce the incidence of diarrhea by up to 47%.
About Planet Water
Planet Water is a US-based, non-profit organization focused on bringing clean water to the world's most disadvantaged communities through the installation of community-based water filtration systems and education programs on water-health & hygiene. The organization’s projects are focused on schools, children, and rural communities who lack access to clean, safe water. Planet Water has completed projects in nine countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Information about Planet Water is available at www.planet-water.org.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows, including The Electric Company, to help bridge the literacy gap. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.
About J.P. Morgan
J.P. Morgan is the investment banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small-business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about J.P. Morgan is available at www.jpmorganchase.com
Mark Steele, Planet Water
(1) 402 972 7009
Beatrice Chow, Sesame Workshop
(1) 212 875 6586
Chris Cockerill, J.P. Morgan
(65) 6882 7097
Helen Shek, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide
(852) 2837 4756