September 24, 2022, New York – LEGO Foundation CEO Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen took the stage at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park this weekend to announce a significant new donation of $25 million to Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations Global Organization, to education funds for emergencies and protracted crises.
ECW Director Yasmine Sherif joined her on stage and welcomed the impact the new, additional contribution will have in realizing the dreams of education for children affected by war and crisis around the world. The LEGO Foundation is ECW’s largest private donor with a total of approximately US$65 million in donations to date.
“Imagine if there were a magic lever that could transform the lived experiences of the 222 million children and youth living in contexts of crisis into the peacekeepers and builders of tomorrow. Well, there is: education. To build that leverage, the LEGO Foundation is pleased to announce $25 million in new funding for Education Cannot Wait,” said Albrectsen.
The LEGO Foundation shares the LEGO Group’s mission: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged and lifelong learners. With contributions from the LEGO Foundation and other donors, ECW has reached 7 million crisis-affected children and youth with holistic educational support since its inception in 2016.
“ECW greatly appreciates this new, additional contribution from the LEGO Foundation, our largest private sector donor. The LEGO Foundation shines as an example of the transformative power of the private sector for humanity. Today, the education of 222 million children around the world has been disrupted by crises; Such funding is essential to get them back on track. We call on all public and private sector partners to help ECW meet our funding challenge for an additional $1.5 billion to urgently provide quality education to millions of children affected by crisis,” said Sherif.
A shocking new analysis by ECW reveals that up to 222 million girls and boys affected by the crisis are in urgent need of education support – up from previous estimates of 75 million in 2016. More than 78 million of these children are out of school altogether, around 120 Millions fail to reach minimum math or reading skills.
Global Citizen is a longtime partner of Education Cannot Wait. Ahead of this year’s festival, the organization called on global citizens around the world to support ECW’s goals to mobilize $1.5 billion over the next four years to bring safety to 20 million children and young people affected by the crisis , to provide hope and opportunity for quality education #222MillionDreams✨📚 campaign.
Global Citizen appearances have included Metallica, Charlie Puth, Jonas Brothers, Måneskin, Mariah Carey, Mickey Guyton and Rosalía. Throughout the day, world leaders, major corporations and philanthropic foundations announced new commitments to End Extreme Poverty Now, including notable fundraising announcements for Education Cannot Wait.
People who want to make a difference can use the hashtag #222MillionDreams✨📚 to call on leaders to act by making individual donations to ECW and taking action alongside Global Citizen and The LEGO Foundation.
Note to the editor
Via Education Can’t Wait (ECW):
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. We support quality educational outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys so no one is left behind. ECW works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of response to crises and combine immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programs. ECW works closely with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations and other humanitarian and development actors to increase efficiency and end siled operations. ECW urges donors, both public and private, to expand their support to reach even more vulnerable children and youth. The Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference, co-hosted by ECW and Switzerland and co-convened with Germany, Niger, Norway and South Sudan, will take place in Geneva on February 16-17, 2023.
On Twitter please follow: @EduCannotWait, @YasmineSherif1, @KentPage
For more information, visit: www.educationcannotwait.org
About the LEGO Foundation:
The LEGO Foundation aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow; a mission it shares with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to be creative, engaged and lifelong learners. Her work is about redefining play and rethinking learning. In partnership with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents, the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play. www.LEGOFoundation.com
Please follow on Twitter: @LEGOfoundation, @ABAlbrectsen, @WilmshurstEuan
For press inquiries:
Rikke Bruntse Dahl, [email protected] +4553195134