The LEGO Foundation presented a $3 million donation to the UN refugee agency on Friday to help improve access to quality primary school education for more than 200,000 refugee children.
The donation will fund UNHCR’s Educate a Child initiative in the 12 countries that have some of the largest refugee populations in the world.
All together, 1.25 million primary school age refugees are now living in Chad, Ethiopia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Uganda and Yemen — and up to 50 percent of them are out of school.
“The support of the LEGO Foundation, which shares a commitment to childhood learning and development, is a tremendous asset for UNHCR’s education program,” said Amanda Seller, who heads UNHCR’s private sector fund-raising. “The generous donation of funding, product and expertise will help us in our work to give refugee children access to the best possible education in some of the most challenging situations.”
“Children are natural learners – curious, creative and imaginative,” said Michael Renvillard, director of programs and partnerships at the LEGO Foundation. “We know that play has a transformational role in learning across our lifespan and that it should be embraced, nurtured and stimulated.”
The LEGO Foundation will also tap into other areas of its business to support UNHCR by providing training for staff that draws on aspects of its education research programme, and aims to foster rich and motivating learning environments for children.