We will start in Uganda and Ethiopia, home to nearly one million refugee children who have been displaced from their homes. We will work with local governments, teachers and caregivers to help reimagine the education system. After all, we know that play matters—and the earliest years count the most.
Learning through play helps kids develop social and emotional skills and build resilience. It strengthens the brain connections essential for future development. And most importantly, it gives children the opportunity to imagine a future of their own design.
Around the world, more than 62 million children remain out of school in countries affected by war and displacement. Through first-of-their-kind programmes for families and schools, we hope to reach our goal of making learning through play a centrepiece of childhood for kids everywhere.
Learn more about the IRC’s education innovations.
The average length of displacement is 10 or more years. That means a child can grow into adulthood without ever being able to return to their home country. As conflicts last longer and people are displaced for decades, the needs of refugees have changed. Education has become increasingly important.
The IRC and the LEGO Foundation are working together to solve one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time. Here's a look at the problem in numbers:
refugees are living in limbo in East African countries struggling to host them.
Some of these refugees have been displaced for as long as three decades. It's a hidden crisis.How Uganda is embracing refugees
The LEGO Foundation is investing $100 million to help deliver play-based learning to 800,000 refugee children in East Africa, aged 3-12. The IRC will be leading the charge, heading up a consortium with Plan International, War Child, Ubongo, Innovations for Poverty Action, and the Behavioral Insights Team.
We know that nearly half of all refugees are children, but humanitarian funding still thinks of education as just an add-on. We need big solutions with bold ideas that put education at the forefront of humanitarian response. With the LEGO Foundation’s investment in play-based learning and the IRC’s expertise in reaching the most vulnerable, this partnership has the potential to reshape education for a generation of refugee children.David Miliband,President and CEO, International Rescue Committee