New Sesame Street character Raya helps save lives with handwashing, hygiene

©2015 Sesame Street Workshop

Sesame Workshop and World Vision are coming together to help protect children from serious sickness caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.

A new friend from Sesame Street is partnering with World Vision to spread the word about the importance of proper sanitation.

Along with her friend Elmo, Raya is teaching children around the world about clean water and hygiene through our water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs. Originally developed with generous funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Raya is a 6-year-old with aqua blue skin, and she pays close attention to hygiene, especially handwashing.

Raya and Elmo teach children about clean water, hygiene

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is partnering with World Vision to help protect children from illness caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. Tragically, nearly 1,000 children die each day from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

Child-focused sanitation and health educational materials featuring Raya and Elmo have been designed to reach children and families through media, schools, and community engagement programs.

Reaching children globally with life-saving lessons

The partnership has begun by focusing on rural communities in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa, where World Vision already has a long-term presence and manages hundreds of community and school development programs.

World Vision already reaches one new person with clean water every 10 seconds. And we announced a new commitment in September 2015 to provide clean water to everyone, everywhere we work by 2030.

Stephen Sobhani, international vice president of Sesame Workshop, explains, “Our work with World Vision surrounding sanitation and hygiene will reach some of the most remote regions of the world — regions where these resources can be life-saving.”

Learn more about Sesame Street and World Vision

How you can help

  • Join us in praying for the water-related issues that prevent children from living life in all its fullness. Check out our water prayer guide.
  • Donate to provide a Sesame Street WASH UP! Kit. Your gift will provide bright print materials, engaging videos, and fun activities that will empower children to take important health lessons home to their families and out into their communities.

Give a Sesame Street WASH UP! Kit.

Clean Water Stories

View All Stories
A boy smiles at the camera as he holds a green cup up to his lips.
From the Field

Clean water through a turn of the tap

Change Makers

On the move with Team World Vision