Ubongo, an  edtech startup based in Tanzania, has received $27.8 million grant from the LEGO Foundation.

Ubongo, an African edtech startup, is one of the five recipients of the Lego Foundation’s global Build a World of Play Challenge, which awards grants to projects that use play to address pressing issues in early childhood education throughout the world. 

A total of US$ 117 million will be given by the LEGO Foundation to organizations that significantly improve the lives of children from birth to age six and inspire a global movement to prioritize early childhood development. 

Akili Family, an Ubongo project, has received $27.8 million. 

Over 31 million families in 23 African countries receive specialized learning resources from Ubongo via TV, radio, digital, and mobile. 

Ubongo intends to expand its Akili Family program to reach more kids and their caregivers at home using play-based early learning materials. 

In an endeavor to create an “Africa of Play,” Akili Family combines pre-primary “edutainment” with caregiver support materials. 

The LEGO Foundation introduced the Build a World of Play Challenge on February 16, 2022, to address the COVID-19 pandemic-exacerbated global early childhood emergency, which is characterized by a lack of access to quality services and support throughout the crucial early years of a child’s development. 

In the 90th year of the LEGO® brand, the awards confirm the LEGO Foundation’s dedication to ensuring that children everywhere have the chance to reach their full potential through play-based learning. 

Ten finalists were chosen from a total of 627 eligible concepts that were submitted to the Challenge from 86 different nations. Four criteria were used by multidisciplinary experts from around the world to evaluate applications: impact, viability, community focus, and sustainability. 

Millions more children will have the chance to grow up with African learning experiences that are created for them and with them thanks to this opportunity. 

By 2028, Ubongo will create an ecosystem of collaborators to offer play-based early learning resources in more than 20 regional languages to more than 65 million families in 49 different countries. 

The Akili Family program is designed to enhance children’s academic, social, and emotional development by providing them with tools to encourage play-based education at home and in the classroom.

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