Today, 2.5 billion people don’t have access to toilets. Investing in sanitation leads to healthier people and stronger communities. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene program focuses on the development of tools and technologies that can lead to radical and sustainable improvements in sanitation in the developing world. An important component is reaching children and families with critical health messages. A new grant to Sesame Workshop will promote hygiene and sanitation among children and families in Bangladesh, India, and Nigeria. We are lucky to have friends like Cookie Monster in this work and we were fortunate to ask him a few questions. We look forward to working with Cookie and the Sesame Workshop in the coming years (and hopefully sharing some cookies).
IO: Cookie Monster, we know you are very busy. Why have you taken the time to speak with us today?
Cookie Monster: Well, me heard that if me be very patient, there will be chocolate chip cookies available at the end of this interview. Me not see them yet, but me optimistic.
IO: We know you’re a cookie enthusiast. Can you tell us your cookie eating ritual?
Cookie Monster: Me cookie eating reputation precedes me. Of course me have ritual! First me wash hands. This part very important because it help keep me healthy. Me not sure exactly how long me wash, but me sing the ABCs slowly and when me get to Z, it time to rinse and then look out, om nom nom nom nom. Me also like to share me cookies with Elmo and Big Bird. Little known secret, a birdseed cookie is delicious.
IO: You have traveled all over the world to places like Asia, Australia, Africa—where is your favorite place to go?
Cookie Monster: Well, me favorite place in the whole-wide-world is Sesame Street, of course. But you are right, me global traveler. On the plane, me fly Monster Class—it is luxurious space in the overhead bin. Me not a picky traveler. Me just like to see places where children and monsters are all healthy and happy.
IO: What’s your favorite thing about living on Sesame Street?
Cookie Monster: Me have so many favorites. Me love learning new things, doing Monster pilates, washing me fur at the laundromat (me prefer gentle cycle), but most of all, me love when visitors stop by—especially with cookies. Hey, if you’re planning on being in the area, feel free to stop by and say hi—me will show you Cookie eating ritual too.