Lego offers building blocks to rebuild Ukrainian education

Lego’s near-$14 million donation will be used to help restore the country’s education system, as well as the learning needs of displaced children in neighbouring countries

The Lego Foundation has made a second significant donation to help war-ravaged Ukraine.

One hundred million Danish Kroner ($13.6 million) is being given to support the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the country’s education system, as well as the learning needs of displaced children and families in neighbouring countries.

“Over 2,300 education institutions have so far been damaged by bombing and shelling during the war, with 286 completely destroyed,” said Oksana Roma, the Lego Foundation’s manager in Ukraine.

“Working with trusted and valued partners, we will help maintain learning opportunities that develop the skills children need for the future. This has always been, and will continue to be, crucial to building a world that offers inclusive equitable education for all.”

Owners of 25% of the Lego Group, the foundation is dedicated to building and funding projects and activities that offer learning through play. In March, Lego affiliates donated $14.6m for the provision of general humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people.

The foundation’s work in Ukraine predates both the current war and the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas region. Since 2010, working alongside Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science, its play-based learning initiative has reach four million children across 15,000 schools and 300 kindergartens.

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Events this year have only intensified the need to support the country’s education system and users, added Roma.

“As we start a new academic year in Ukraine, we must acknowledge how different an experience it will be for many of our children,” she said. “Traditionally, this day is celebrated with ‘first bell’ ceremonies in class that highlight the importance of children’s education for the successful future of Ukraine.

“This donation seeks to ensure the children of Ukraine, either in Ukraine or neighbouring countries such as Moldova and Romania, can continue their education despite the severe disruption they have experienced due to the war and, before that, the global pandemic.”

As well as directly donating equipment to education institutions, the Lego Foundation will deliver support alongside partners including the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support collaborative, and educational app developer, Peppy Pals.

“War has inevitably changed the lives of Ukrainian people and it has deeply affected the psychological state of children, students, teachers and parents,” said Serhii Shkarlet, Ukraine’s minister of education and science.

“This is why one of our priorities is providing the right psychosocial support for all of those involved in the education of children and we will unite the efforts of the state, public sector and international partners to keep our education systems operating.”

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