The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown has had a particularly adverse effect on children, impacting their mental, physical and psycho-social well-being. The LEGO Group, the world’s leading toy brand, in collaboration with two highly reputed organisations, NITI Aayog and Save The Children, has introduced targeted initiatives in India to promote ‘Learning Through Play’ and support home-based learning during these unprecedented times, while strengthening community efforts to respond to COVID 19. This is part of the LEGO Group and LEGO Foundation’s overall commitment of US $50 million globally to help children and their families impacted by COVID 19.
The LEGO Group has aligned with Save the Children to promote responsive care-giving and play-based learning practices for children aged 3-8 years both at state and national levels. This effort will help in strengthening communities to combat COVID-19 by providing educational kits and play materials for use at home as well as guiding parents and caregivers on hygiene and responsive caregiving. The initiative will also improve access to quality pre-school education through the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and pre-school Centres when they re-open. It will focus on building capacity of pre-school Anganwadi Workers (AWWs), Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs) and ICDS functionaries to support the development and school readiness of young children.
In addition, synergizing efforts, The LEGO Group will bring its global initiative ‘Let’s Build Together’ to India. As a part of its collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, the LEGO Group will provide readily available offline, online resources and play activities for students that foster creativity skills and inculcate design thinking. The LEGO Group will also explore training webinars to build capacities for ATL teachers to conduct effective online lessons for students and also webinars for students under AIM’s ‘Tinker from Home’ campaign.
Commenting on the collaboration, Vivek Jain, General Manager, The LEGO Group (BU India) said, “With schools being closed, the education of more than 1.5 billion children and youth worldwide have been affected due to this pandemic. Currently, many educators and parents are stepping into new roles at home to ensure that children are in good health both physically and mentally. Our aim is to urgently support crisis-affected children to enable them to thrive and continue to learn through play. Through our ‘Let’s Build Together’ initiative with Niti Aayog and our collaboration with Save the Children, our focus is ensuring that children of all ages can continue to be creative, to have fun and to develop the social, emotional and physical skills they need to thrive in the future.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Save the Children, India, said “Save the Children is delighted to partner with the LEGO Group to promote early childhood development for children aged 3 – 8 years, by enhancing their skills through playful learning experiences. We firmly believe that play-based learning and positive parenting lays the foundation for providing children with the ‘Right Start’. In order to overcome the effects of COVID 19 crisis, we will start by supporting parents and caregivers with advice on caregiving at home, including providing home-based learning opportunities that will ensure children’s social, emotional and physical development. Save the Children and the LEGO Group share a common focus and together we will create a better, brighter world for children.”