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USAID and the LEGO Foundation partner to improve early  childhood care and education in Ethiopia 

Press Release
Embassy of the United States of America
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

USAID and the LEGO Foundation partner to improve early  childhood care and education in Ethiopia 

Addis Ababa, March 18, 2022USAID/Ethiopia and the LEGO Foundation have just  announced a new public-private partnership to improve early childhood care and education  across Ethiopia. Both organizations have agreed to co-fund and co-design education projects  worth at least $25 million that will help preschool aged children (ages 3 to 6+), with a focus on  children living in conflict and crisis-affected regions, to play, learn, and develop to their full  potential.  

“USAID/Ethiopia and the LEGO Foundation are committed to increasing opportunities for pre school-aged children to learn through play—at a key stage in brain-development—before they  enter primary school,” says Acting USAID/Ethiopia Mission Director James Dobson. This  incredible partnership builds on a national memorandum of understanding signed in August  2021. 

This collaborative work will commence in the coming months and will increase opportunities for  children to participate in quality play-based, pre-primary activities that improve their early  learning and holistic development. It will prioritize children affected by crisis and conflict,  including refugees and IDPs, returnees, and those in host communities.  

“Play provides comfort, helps children to overcome traumatic experiences, builds resilience, and  returns them to the routine and normalcy of being a child. This is especially important for young  children whose families are on the move due to conflict and crises,” says Sarah Bouchie, Chief  Impact Officer at the LEGO Foundation. 

USAID and the LEGO Foundation currently have a world-wide agreement to combine their  respective strengths in education and development: leveraging resources, field presence,  research, and the ability to meet the pre-primary and primary education needs of children in all  corners of the world. Together, they hope to create a future in which learning through play empowers children to become the best they can be—creative and engaged life-long learners. 

USAID and the LEGO Foundation also understand the importance of partnerships in emergency  response efforts, shown through their joint funding in the Education Cannot Wait and Global  Partnership for Education initiatives and their collaborative work with the Inter-agency Network  for Education in Emergencies. When public and private partners come together to ensure access,  quality, and equity in education in emergencies, they can transform children’s lives. 

For more information about this partnership, contact: wherkewitz@usaid.gov 

For information about U.S. Embassy activities, please visit our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.
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