yellow red blue and green lego blocksThe LEGO Foundation has announced a USD 143 million global challenge to fund impactful solutions focused on early childhood in what CEO, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen says will address a “global early childhood emergency”.
The Build A World of Play Challenge will enable any organisations that can make a positive impact on the youngest children globally, to bid. The amount, equivalent to 900 million Danish Kroner, reaffirms the LEGO Foundation’s commitment in the LEGO® brand’s 90th year to ensure children globally are given opportunities to learn through play, helping children everywhere develop holistic skills and reach their full potential.
Grants will be awarded to those exploring evidence-based innovative solutions to the biggest problems of today such as access to quality early childhood education and care, adequate nutrition, eradication of toxic stress and violence in homes and communities, protection from pollution, and supporting the social and emotional well-being of the whole family.
“All children have the right to feel safe and have access to quality education and healthcare. But to date, early childhood development has been not just under-recognised, but grossly underfunded,” said Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, Chair of the Board of Directors at The LEGO Foundation, and the fourth-generation representative of the LEGO owner family. “Children are the builders of tomorrow. If we do not invest in the youngest children in our society, we don’t invest in our collective future.”
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of the LEGO Foundation said: “We are currently facing the biggest global early childhood emergency that the world has ever seen. The quality of experiences in the first few years of a child’s life is where brain development is in its most adaptive and rapidly developing state. Through this challenge, we want to help urgently address the biggest challenges societies globally face, with creative, actionable ideas that put children at the centre of global decision making. The challenge is an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the youngest children.
All entrants will need to complete an online application. Potential applicants must register by April 7, 2022. The deadline for submissions is May 17, 2022.
The challenge is being managed by Lever for Change, a non-profit association of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
More details on the Build a World of Play Challenge can be found here.