The LEGO Foundation and USAID/Ethiopia have just announced a new public-private partnership to boost early childhood care and education in Ethiopia, according to NNN.
Both Organizations have agreed to co-finance and co-design educational projects worth at least $25 million that will help preschool-age children (ages 3 to 6) play, learn, and develop to their full potential, with a focus on children living in conflict and crisis-affected regions.
“USAID/Ethiopia and the LEGO Foundation are committed to increasing opportunities for preschool children to learn via play, at a critical period in their brain development, before entering primary school,” says James Dobson, interim mission director for USAID/Ethiopia. The foundation for this extraordinary collaboration is a national memorandum of understanding signed in August 2021.
This collaborative effort will begin in the coming months and will provide more opportunities for children to participate in high-quality play-based preschool activities that will help them learn and develop holistically. Children affected by crisis and conflict, such as refugees and internally displaced individuals, returnees, and children from host communities, will be prioritized.
“Play comforts children, assists them in overcoming painful experiences, promotes resilience, and returns them to the regularity and normalcy of childhood.” “This is especially crucial for young children whose families are on the move as a result of conflict or catastrophe,” explains Sarah Bouchie, the LEGO Foundation’s director of impact.
The LEGO Foundation and USAID have signed a global partnership to combine their respective capabilities in education and development, including leveraging resources, field presence, research, and the ability to meet the pre-primary and primary education requirements of children around the world. world, world, world Together, they aspire to build a future in which children are empowered to be the best they can be as creative and engaged lifelong learners via learning through play.
The importance of partnerships in emergency response efforts is also understood by USAID and the LEGO Foundation, as evidenced by their joint funding of the Education Cannot Wait and Global Partnership for Education initiatives, as well as their collaborative work with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies. Children’s lives can be transformed when public and private partners work together to ensure access, quality, and equity in education during emergencies.
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