Build A World Of Play Challenge
On December 6, 2022, the LEGO Foundation announced five awardees for its Build a World of Play Challenge, which aims to fund bold and impactful solutions focused on early childhood. The Challenge is awarding a total of DKK 900 million (approximately $117 Million) to support substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old and spark a global movement to prioritize early childhood development.
About the Challenge
The Build a World of Play Challenge was launched on February 16, 2022 by the LEGO Foundation to address a global early childhood emergency, that has been exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The awards reaffirm the LEGO Foundation’s commitment in the LEGO® brand’s 90th year to ensure children globally are given opportunities to learn through play.
Three grants of DKK 200 million each and two grants for DKK 100 million each were awarded to five awardees to fund bold and impactful solutions focused on early childhood. Collectively, these organizations will have a meaningful impact on the development of young children through the power of play. Each of these bold solutions promotes the well-being of children, their caregivers and their communities, using culturally relevant and sustainable approaches.
The five awardee projects are below (alphabetically):
- Akili Family: Localised Play-Based Learning for African Families & Communities (200 Million DKK): Ubongo International will scale Akili Family, educational entertainment programs that air in African languages on TV, radio, and digital platforms, to support at-home learning through play for children and their caregivers.
- Catalyzing REAL Fathers across Uganda for Early Learning and Play (100 Million DKK): Impact and Innovations Development Centre and partners will teach positive parenting and non-violent discipline to reinforce positive fatherhood norms, thereby reducing violence and empowering children in Ugandan communities.
- Empowering Disabled Children to Play via Early Assistive Technology Access (100 Million DKK): Clinton Health Access Initiative will empower disabled children to play and thrive, by supporting sustainable and community-led government programs to provide early screening and life-changing assistive technology in eight countries.
- GogoPlay: Ecosystems of Play for Children in Rural South Africa (200 Million DKK): IRD Global will build ecosystems for early childhood development in rural South Africa by upskilling women, especially grandmothers (gogos), in play and wellbeing within villages and co-creating centralized playhouses.
- Reclaiming Indigenous Children’s Futures through Home-Visiting and Intergenerational Playspaces (200 Million DKK): Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health, based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and partners worldwide will scale culture-based home education and intergenerational playspaces for the well-being of Indigenous children and families.
On October 20, 2022, the LEGO Foundation announced ten finalists for its global Build A World Of Play Challenge. The Challenge received 627 submissions from 86 countries. Applications were evaluated by multi-disciplined experts from across the world based on four criteria: whether they were impactful, feasible, community-centered, and sustainable.
The other finalists in the Build a World of Play Challenge are listed below (alphabetically):
- Care to Play: Early Education for Pathways Out of Poverty: Indus Action, Saajha, Trickle Up, Rocket Learning, and IDinsight are partnering with a shared mission: the Care to Play program will provide capabilities of caregiving and opportunities for early education for more than five million vulnerable children in India, resulting in pathways out of poverty.
- Leverage Box: Game 4 All: ASAM-SGDD has designed the "Leverage Box: Game 4 All": a community-based intervention program to democratize play therapy and make it accessible for all preschool-aged refugee and host community children.
- Lively Minds: Empowering Rural Communities to Help their Children Thrive: Lively Minds, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and the Education Commission plan to scale a proven, low-cost, community-run program to improve early childhood care and education for two million rural preschoolers in Uganda and Ghana.
- PLAYFVL: Play and Language Access for Your Family through Visual Learning: The partnership between Motion Light Lab and SKI-HI Institute supports and mentors families with children who are deaf to find joy in play and visual learning.
- Scaling Community-Led Learning through Play for Refugee Children: Cohere, in partnership with refugee-led organizations, will scale a learning through play program for refugee children to improve their literacy, numeracy, technology, social, and emotional skills.
About the Challenge
Launched on February 16, 2022, Build A World Of Play will award DKK 900 million ($117 million) to fund bold and impactful solutions focused on early childhood. Hosted by The LEGO Foundation, the Challenge supports substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old and spark a global movement to prioritize early childhood development.
The LEGO Foundation invites other philanthropists to join in funding the finalists and other top-ranked organizations that have emerged through this process. Donors interested in providing additional funding for the Build World of Play Challenge should contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy at Lever for Change.I'm interested in funding Bold Solutions!