Danish Toymaker Lego Offers £100M to Find Solutions Tackling Global Childhood Crisis
Lego, the Danish toy production company that manufactures Lego-brand toys, is launching a 900m Danish kroner (£100m or $140m) competition to find solutions that will make a positive impact on the lives of children in response to what the company said was a “global early childhood emergency”.
The Lego Foundation – the non-profit arm that owns 25% of Lego Group – is offering the prize fund to help children in crisis and address the loss of access to services and support, accelerated by the pandemic, according to an exclusive report by the Guardian.
According to the World Bank, 167 million children in 196 countries lost access to early childhood care and education services between March 2020 and February 2021 due to the pandemic.
Commenting on the initiative, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, the CEO of the Lego Foundation, said:
“We’re living in a world where early childhood development is at crisis point. It hasn’t had the investment or the political attention that it deserves. So to mark the Lego brand’s 90th anniversary, we’re making a statement.”
Albrectsen hopes that the “Build a World of Play Challenge” fund will attract proposals addressing emergency issues as well as forward-looking projects.
“It could be a tech innovation that will improve the health of families with young children, or a plan to make cities safer, greener, more sustainable, more playful; or ideas for reducing stress amongst caregivers; or help with equal access to education for girls, or for children with disabilities, or for neurodiverse children,” Albrectsen said.
As per the report, The Lego Foundation will assess each entry for impact, feasibility, sustainability, and bearing on the community and plan to work closely with successful grantees. For this, five entries with ideas for the biggest impact will receive grants, with three receiving 200m DKK each (£22.6m) and two 100m DKK each. In addition, the 10 finalists will receive 6.5m DKK each to strengthen their plans and build a team to implement their innovation.
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