Takalani Sesame's Talk to Me, about talking to children about HIV and AIDS, won best programme in the education category, garnering the Governor of Tokyo Prize in the Japan Prize Contest. The Japan Prize honours media contributing to the advancement of educational television around the world.
Takalani Sesame introduced a special HIV and AIDS education focus in 2002.
A Health and Development Africa study indicated that parents and caregivers who watched segments from the Talk to Me television special were more than twice as likely to talk with children in their households about HIV compared to caregivers who did not view the programme.
Young children (ages 3 to 6) exposed to Takalani Sesame showed substantial gains in basic knowledge, blood safety, discrimination, and coping with HIV and AIDS.
Khulisa Management research also suggests that Takalani Sesame can play a role in enhancing communication between educators and children: educators exposed to episodes from the series were more likely to speak about HIV and AIDS in their classrooms than were those who were not.
Outreach initiatives have resulted in the development of innovative materials, including video and audio cassettes, storybooks, posters, newspaper inserts, and educators' manuals, designed to reach children and their caregivers in their home languages.
The Takalani Sesame project is a partnership of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Kwasukasukela and Sesame Workshop, with funding by the United States Agency for International Development in support of the South African Department of Education, and Sanlam.