The LEGO Foundation has announced five recipients of its Build a World of Play Challenge to fund impactful solutions focused on early childhood. A total of DKK 900 million (approximately US$ 117 Million) is being awarded to support organisations that make substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old and spark a global movement to prioritise early childhood development.

Three grants of DKK 200 million (or approx. US$ 28 million) each and two grants for DKK 100 million (or approx. US$ 14 million) each were presented to the awardees. The grants will help in furthering their projects which promote the well-being of children, their caregivers, and their communities, using culturally relevant and sustainable approaches.

The five awardee projects:

Akili Family: Localised Play-Based Learning for African Families & Communities (DKK 200 million or approx. US$ 28 million): Ubongo International will scale Akili Family, educational entertainment multi-channel programmes that air in several African languages, to support at-home learning for children and their caregivers.
GogoPlay: Ecosystems of Play for Children in Rural South Africa (DKK 200 million or approx. US$ 28 million ): IRD Global will build ecosystems for early childhood development in rural South Africa by upskilling women, especially grandmothers, in play and well-being within villages and co-creating centralised playhouses.
Reclaiming Indigenous Children’s Futures through Home-Visiting and Intergenerational Playspaces (DKK 200 million or approx. US$ 28 million ): Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health and partners worldwide will scale culture-based home education and intergenerational play spaces for Indigenous children and families.
Catalysing REAL Fathers across Uganda for Early Learning and Play (DKK 1 00 million or approx. US$ 14 million ): Impact and Innovations Development Centre and partners will teach positive parenting and non-violent discipline to reinforce positive fatherhood norms.
Empowering Disabled Children to Play via Early Assistive Technology Access (DKK 100 million or approx. US$ 14 million ): Clinton Health Access Initiative will empower disabled children to thrive, by supporting sustainable and community-led government programmes that provide early screening and life-changing assistive technology in eight countries.
Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, Chairman of the LEGO Foundation Board of Directors, said: “As part of the LEGO brand’s 90th anniversary, the LEGO Foundation made a commitment to help build a better world for young children to thrive. The Build a World of Play Challenge is designed to do just that, by funding innovative projects that make a real difference for global childhood development and give young children a better start in life. Congratulations to all the recipients, who have all demonstrated game-changing solutions. We look forward to working alongside them as long-term partners, to invest in children’s futures.”

The LEGO Foundation partnered with Lever for Change a non-profit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, to manage the Challenge process. The Challenge received a total of 627 valid proposals from 86 countries, from which ten finalists were selected. Applicants were evaluated by experts from across the world based on four criteria: whether they were impactful, feasible, community-centred, and sustainable.

More details can be found here.

The LEGO Foundation

The LEGO Foundation shares the mission of the LEGO Group: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The Foundation, which owns 25% of the LEGO Group, is dedicated to building a future in which learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. It is through the ownership model, that a portion of profits go to funding research projects, activities and partnerships.

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