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Little Children, Big Challenges

Tools to encourage educators to use positive routines to help grow young refugee children’s basic academic skills & foster their resilience

Photo of Madhavi Karunakaram Guha
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With a mission to help every child realize their highest potential, we will use our (Sesame Workshop India’s) ‘School in a Box’ as a tool to impact educational and developmental outcomes of children. We will provide educators and parents with a well-tested tool to impart basic literacy, numeracy and socio-emotional skills to children. ‘School in a Box’ is a supplementary education package for young children aged 6 – 8 years. It acts as a powerful tool which helps teachers impart skills by engaging with the child’s curiosity and inquisitive mind through real world experiences. It includes everything from an educator guide and training video to games, puzzles, story books and audio-visual segments for children. The toolkit aims to provide skills and strategies young children need to build resilience and perseverance through day-to-day as well as more serious changes and transitions in their life. The tool uses the power of Sesame Street Muppets & media to address such critical issues.It’s a great teaching/learning tool which is portable and thus can be very relevant in this context. It can be transported to any location where a group of children are getting together to learn.


Refugees in India who register with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and are from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, Pakistan, Congo, Israel etc. UNHCR along with their implementation partner BOSCO, runs Bridge classes, Tuition classes and Remedial classes for children of refugees, to help them cope with the education system. Can be extended to other markets.


Individual components of the ‘School in the Box’ have already been tested for their effectiveness. These include-Board games, Floor games, Digital games, 2D & 3D shapes, Story books, Coins & Cards, Videos, Training Videos for teachers. Additionally, we would test the idea through a pilot in one area, as a formative research model & generate feedback to further develop and refine the product for specific use by the target group. We will choose an area which has students that best represent our beneficiaries. The assets will be tested using qualitative methods for comprehension, appeal, recall and engagement. Thereafter, the product will be contextualized and refined further to suit specific needs of the target group after which the components will be printed & produced. Teachers will then be trained using our extensive teacher training materials which will help them impart the knowledge to the children. We would need help with developing a distribution mechanism.


We have tested the School in a Box amongst some schools in New Delhi. The product and it's components were liked a lot by the children and teachers. However, schools find it difficult to adopt due to additional costs associated with adding this to their curriculum. Parents are not willing to pay extra for it and expect the schools to cover the costs within the existing fee.

SKILL SHARE (optional)

It would be great to evolve the current product design to make it even easier to carry (portability), store and find multiple uses for it. Also, we would need help with finding an appropriate distribution mechanism to get this product out to maximum number of refugee children around the world. Our in-house capacities include experts in children’s education, production, research and creative with both Indian and global experience. And we are happy to share some of our expertise.


Sesame Workshop in India uses the power of muppets and media to help children get ready for school and for life. Our proven content has been demonstrating high impact on children’s education and development outcomes.


  • Yes, and I am looking for a partner working with refugee communities to implement this idea.


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Photo of Susan Nasif

Well, I liked. But I wonder why shall it be an AMERICAN BRAND? India is a "very rich" country in culture, Art, ...etc.... ? Of course, we are far beyond "politics" in here, so my concern is only "why not to EXPOSE a unique culture this way"? Thank you :)

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