July 13, 2024

USAID and LEGO Foundation Celebrate Milestone in Ethiopian Childhood Development Program

Samantha Power
USAID Administrator Samantha Power

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the LEGO Foundation marked a significant milestone on February 9, 2024, celebrating the first anniversary of their partnership in the childhood development program in Ethiopia. This collaborative effort has made remarkable strides in supporting pre-primary children and their communities, which have been adversely affected by conflict and drought in various regions of Ethiopia.

Over the past year, the program has extended its support to more than 15,000 children across the Amhara, Afar, Tigray, Oromia, and Somali regions. The initiative is tailored to address the multifaceted needs of the communities it serves, providing nourishment, training for teachers and facilitators, psychosocial first aid, and play-based pre-primary education. A significant focus of the program is directed towards supporting internally displaced persons and refugee communities, ensuring that the most vulnerable populations receive the assistance they need.

The partnership between USAID and the LEGO Foundation dates back to 2019, with both organizations pooling their resources and expertise to address the educational needs of children in their early years. Their collaboration extends beyond Ethiopia, with initiatives aimed at promoting early childhood development in other countries such as Colombia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zambia. These global efforts concentrate on enhancing pre-primary and primary education, social-emotional learning, and the integration of playful learning approaches.

This partnership exemplifies USAID’s commitment to involving the private sector in efforts to build more resilient education systems, particularly in regions facing emerging crises. The success of the childhood development program in Ethiopia serves as a model for international collaboration, demonstrating the positive impact that can be achieved when organizations come together to support early childhood development and education.

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