• Fund will support South African communities to bring more playful learning opportunities directly to children.
  •  In 2022, ChangeX launched community funds with 342 groups starting community-based play projects in 7 countries, benefiting over 27,000

ChangeX, the community engagement platform, has launched a R1,800,000 play-focused community fund, with support from the LEGO Foundation, to enable communities across South Africa to start proven learning through play projects and empower community groups, parents and caregivers to create more playful experiences for children.

The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to ensuring children globally become creative, engaged, and lifelong learners through the power of play. Learning through play helps children develop essential skills to thrive in life and reach their full potential.

With support from the LEGO Foundation, ChangeX is launching the South Africa Community Play Fund to activate more learning through play projects in communities, mobilize local community changemakers and scale proven play innovations.

The South Africa Community Play Fund is part of a wider $7.8m grant to ChangeX from the LEGO Foundation. This follows from the successful launch in 2022 of play-focused community funds in seven countries, which benefited 27,901 children. In 2023, the partnership added two new funds in South Africa and Ukraine.

The South Africa Community Play Fund aims to support groups across the country to start new community projects. Groups can choose from a carefully curated portfolio of proven ideas that have already had a positive impact in other communities around the world.

The ideas on offer include Books for Bright Futures, Playground Ideas, and Play With Your Food. Books for Bright Futures aims to foster a love for reading and enhance literacy skills among children by providing access to diverse and engaging books.

Through this initiative, children are empowered to explore new worlds and expand their imaginations. Playground Ideas focuses on creating safe and inclusive play spaces for children, promoting physical activity, creativity, and social interaction. These innovative playgrounds become hubs for community engagement and joyful play. Play With Your Food takes a unique approach to nutrition education by using play and interactive activities to encourage healthy eating habits among children. By making food fun and exciting, this initiative inspires children to develop a lifelong appreciation for nutritious

Groups who apply for funding to start one of the ideas on offer in the South Africa Community Play Fund will have 30 days to build a small team and design an action plan. On completing these steps, they will be eligible for seed funding. Funding will be allocated to qualifying applicants on a first come, first served basis.

In 2022, some of the most popular ideas started by local communities in South Africa included FIRST LEGO League, Playworks and Urban Thinkscape. These ideas helped community leaders understand and appreciate the impact that learning through play has on children’s lives and helped children develop essential skills like creativity, collaboration and leadership.

“It helped us understand the great importance of play in humanitarian spaces, having a safe place where children can be children, far from the violence they have experienced has been a great psycho-pedagogical tool,” said Luz, one of the grantees who started a KABOOM! project in Mexico.

“This continuation of our exciting partnership with the LEGO Foundation will allow us to bring proven play innovations to communities across South Africa and ensure that as many children as possible have the opportunity to develop essential skills by learning through play,” said Paul O’Hara, ChangeX’s Chief Executive and Co-founder.

Netsanet Belay, Vice President at the LEGO Foundation, said: “At the LEGO Foundation we believe that local communities have the power to nurture the best in children. Through the collective actions of passionate individuals, driven by a shared vision and a deep understanding of local needs, these communities can make a difference and ensure a lasting impact. We are excited to continue our partnership with ChangeX and support more local communities in their efforts to ensure children learn through play and develop holistic skills that will help them to thrive in life.”

About ChangeX
ChangeX is a community engagement platform designed to get funding and resources directly into the hands of everyday people to lead impactful projects in their neighborhoods. ChangeX was established in 2015. It works with social innovators to scale proven solutions to environmental, economic and social issues and partners with corporations and foundations to support communities with the necessary funding. Its funding partners include Microsoft, Accenture, the LEGO Foundation and Amazon Web Services, among others. ChangeX is an international non-profit organization, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with teams based across Europe and the Americas. www.changex.org

About the LEGO Foundation
The LEGO Foundation shares the mission of the LEGO Group: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The LEGO Foundation is dedicated to building a future in which learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for learning through play.

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