The Lego Foundation has announced a $100 million grant for refugee children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian crises to access play-based learning.
The foundation – which was set up by the Danish toy-maker to promote learning through play – has awarded the money to Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind the TV show Sesame Street.
Sesame Workshop will use the grant to implement play-based early childhood interventions.
For example, it will partner with the development organisation BRAC to scale up a network of ‘Humanitarian Play Labs’ to address the needs of young Rohingya refugee children who have fled ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
New Sesame Street videos, storybooks, games and puzzles featuring the Muppets characters will be created to foster engagement between children and their caregivers.
Sesame Workshop will also create videos focused on play to be shared through family-friendly mobile and pop-up viewings in refugee and host communities.
John Goodwin, chief executive of the Lego Foundation, said: “By providing play-based learning to children in crisis, we can help mitigate the detrimental, long-term effects of displacement and trauma, ultimately giving a generation of refugee children a path forward.”
Jeffrey D. Dunn, CEO of Sesame Workshop, said: “The global refugee crisis is the humanitarian issue of our time, and we are deeply humbled by the trust the Lego Foundation has placed in us to uplift the lives of children affected by conflict.”