LEGO Foundation and Lever for Change Launch ‘Build a World of Play Challenge’ to Combat Childhood Inequity — Meet the Finalists

build a world of play, lever for change

Play is a fundamental aspect of positive childhood development, and access to resources and materials that encourage play and spur curiosity and growth plays a fundamental role in outcomes during this critical phase. Unfortunately, this access is limited for many families. But this does not have to be the norm.

To combat this inequity in childhood development, the LEGO Foundation launched the Build a World of Play Challenge — designed and managed by Lever for Change. This initiative will award DKK 900 million (approximately USD 117 million) “to support substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old.” Additionally, they aim to prioritize early childhood development by igniting an international movement that advocates for childhood equity.

In October, the LEGO Foundation announced the ten finalists that will potentially bring their vision to fruition for the betterment of children worldwide. Finalists were vetted based on four criteria, that their projects be: impactful, feasible, community-centered and sustainable. Proposal themes include, “Empowering Disabled Children to Play via Early Assistive Technology Access,” “Scaling Community-Led Learning Through Play for Refugee Children,” to name a few of the varied pitches.

From the Challenge website, finalists are detailed as:

While this initiative has seen great success, it can always use more support. To get involved with the Build a World of Play Challenge, consider:

  • Providing additional funding to the Challenge or the finalists. Interested donors should contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy at Lever for Change.
  • Share information about the Challenge and finalists in your network or with others who might be interested.
  • Discuss the Challenge and finalists on your social media channels, don’t forget to tag Lever for Change and the LEGO Foundation, and use #BuildAWorldOfPlay #EarlyChildhood #LeverforChange.

“Collectively, these teams will shape the lives of millions of children globally through ambitious, optimistic and game-changing projects,” Lever for Change states.

For more information on how to help or to learn more about the finalists, visit the Lever for Change website.

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Margaret Smith is a Chicago-based writer and editor with a passion for socio-political storytelling about their community. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.