With many families staying at home and millions more facing job, food, and medical insecurity, the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group have joined forces to address the critical needs of children in these unprecedented times.
We have created two important initiatives to aid all children – from the most vulnerable in refugee camps and war-torn countries to those waiting out a community quarantine.
The first initiative is a US$50 million donation by the LEGO Foundation to support children most in need and ensure they continue to have access to learning through play which helps develop life-long skills. The donation will be split between three groups of partners. They are: Education Cannot Wait, which provides education for children caught in emergencies and protracted crises; a selection of existing LEGO Foundation partners whose work with children and families is under additional pressure from COVID-19; and charity partners serving communities where the LEGO Group has a significant presence. Our aim is to urgently reach crisis-affected children with essential supplies and provide support to continue learning through play.
Our second initiative is inspired by the magnitude of the impact of the crisis on children’s education. UNESCO estimates that more than 160 countries have implemented nationwide school closures, impacting 87% of world’s student population. That’s more than 1.5 billion school-aged children who are currently out of school, a number that is only likely to increase in the coming weeks.
So we’ve assembled our designers, STEM gurus, creatives and play experts. We’ve dug through our archives and come up with new ways to provide fun, play-based learning ideas to children and parents. Our hope is to alleviate some of the strain and stress for families while keeping children engaged and curious. We’ve created www.LEGO.com/letsbuildtogether and launched #letsbuildtogether across our social channels as a way to share building ideas, daily challenges set by LEGO® designers, retro builds, and live build-a-longs with fans everywhere.
Play experts from the LEGO Foundation will also share ways to inspire learning through all types of play which will help children develop life-long skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving while out of school.
Many of us are fortunate to have technology. Our hope is that while we may not be able to meet physically, we can connect, share our creativity and inspire each other.
Caring for children’s wellbeing and development has been at the heart of our culture for more than 85 years. We are proud to continue this tradition and to do our part.
It’s an extraordinarily difficult time, but together we can support each other, be inspired, be safe and learn through play.
Niels B Christiansen, CEO, the LEGO Group
John Goodwin, CEO, the LEGO Foundation