Friends of Fazle Abed study world class scaling of what we now call UN Sustainability Goals but Abed in 1972 first called Goal 1 Poverty alleviation when he founded BRA-C (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Collabs so that Bangladesh became the first nation empowered by poorest village women. Start with 3 favorite wESG (womens Entrepreneurial Scaling Goals : human collaborations of 100K ::1billion :: 50million

  • *** 100000 lives matter eg 5.1 metavillage= 1972

  • ...***1billion girls action networking -eg 3.1 oral rehydration

  • ***50 million graduate Apps: 5.4 purpose of first 100 new unis of sdg generation
1billiongirls.com - over the last half century the greatest human development miracle (extra ref schumacher 1 million bilages) has been networked by 1 billion poorest asian village women -here we invite you to help map the 30 collaborations they linkedin - their chief guide 2019-1970 the former oil company executive fazle abed- In spite of being pivotal to how one quarter of all human beings progressed (and by far the deepest co-creators of Sustainability goal solutions- nobody ever printed any paper money for them - its only since innovating the world's largest cashless banking 1.5 systems that many westerners even began to study 21st C happiest possibilities with them.
Out of Bangladesh, village mothers hired 100000 village coaches - webbed 30 collaborations - giant leaps for womankind & youth as first sustainability generation
Intergenerational collaboration entrepreneur platforms 5.1  metavillage sustainable community building - women empowered:15000 families at a time;5.2   billion asian women,5.3  brac net; 5.4   asian universities share sdg graduates 5.5  climate smart village exchanges,5.6 meta and zoom-me up scotty
BANK FOR ALL 1.1  1.2  1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6 celebrate 30 most human collaborations from developing world of last half-century - inspiring  anyone valuing UN and youth as first sustainability generation
EDUCATION  adult village entrepreneurs 4.1; primary 4.2  ; teen 4.3; university4.4 ; pre-school4.5;tech multidisciplinary luminaries 4.6 
HEALTH oral rehydration 3.1 ;para health "doordash" basic meds 3,2; scale vaccination3.3 ;tuberculosis & 3.4  Frugal processes eg wash sanitation, maternity3.5  ; James Grant School of public health 3.6
FOOD/land security 2.1  rice; 2.2 veggie  2.3    cash crops & village fair; 2.4  poultry;2.5  dairy, 2,6  14 nation leading supply chains financial opportunities to end poverty ;

UN says: Today's Education Systems No Longer Fit for PurposeAt Economistdiary.com we search out collaboration events- most exciting in 2022 - UN total transformation of education -september NY; Neumann's families collaboration search AI Hall of Fame; fen ale owners of transmedia race to humanise the metaverse...
abedMOOC.com started from a brainstorming dinner convened by Japan Ambassador to Dhaka who noticed my father's surveys of Asia Rising begun with Japan 1962 (endorsed by JF Kennedy) had not completely detailed Bangladesh Rural Advancement's  contributions to sustaining humanity and celebrating nation building through women empowerment . Dad's last public birthday party had celebrated launch of Muhammad Yunus Global Social Business Book February 2008 with 40 guests at Royal Automobile Club, St James, London. Father had also paid for sampling 2000 of Yunus books, 10000 dvds (youtube style interviews with all grameen directors during summer 2008 when the Nobel judges opened Yunus Museum in Mirpur, as well as part of launch of 2 Journals by Adam Smith Scholars in Glasgow that had emerged from Yunus making the 250th keynote speech on Adam Smith Moral Sentiments Dec 2008. But Fazle Abed whom my father never got the chance to meet had started 11 years before Yunus Grameen Bank 1983 Ordinance , built health and agricultural foundations, and then schooling -altogether a 5 dimensions approach that was not possible to appreciate from onee dimensional microcreditsummit yunus the clintons, queen Sofia staged annually from 1997. Abed said we could do a Mooc if it was laid out round C for collaborations. He was keen to map how 6  Collabs per the 5 primary sdgs had been integrated through 2 quarters of a century 1972-1995 when rural meant no electricity grids or phones; 1995 when partnering platforms afforded extraordinary leapfrog models that could be designed with mobile networks and solar. It took 16 trips while Abed was alive (and the curiosity og many graduate journalists _ to get this mooc started, and we still try to update it even as Abed left the world in Dec 2019. We welcome corrections and omissions. We have attempted here to map the deepest economic miracle

Monday, January 31, 2022

4.5 early childhood lego prize fazle abed

bracied.com partners of brac institute of educational development : nyu lego foundation sesame workshop dubai cares yidan prize porticus (netherllands) IRC (Miliband UK)

The 2018 LEGO Prize has been awarded to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC(Building Resources Across Communities).

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, has been awarded the prestigious 2018 LEGO Prize in recognition of his extraordinary contribution towards improving children’s lives and their opportunities to play, learn and develop.

Thomas Kirk Kristiansen, chairman of the board of Lego Foundation, handed over the prize to Sir Fazle at an event last evening (Tuesday 10 April 2018) in Denmark.

The LEGO Foundation, a Danish corporate foundation, has been awarding this prize since 1985 to individuals and organisations who are committed to the lives of children and are champions of learning through play.

The prize is accompanied by a cash award of USD 100,000, which will be used to strengthen BRAC’s support for children living with neuro-developmental disabilities and their families.

From the beginning of his career and the establishment of BRAC, Sir Fazle has viewed education as a crucial catalyst for change. He firmly believes that it is about more than just schools and books, and constant innovation is a cornerstone of BRAC’s approach. Since launching its non-formal education programme in Bangladesh in 1985, more than 11 million children have graduated from BRAC’s primary and pre-primary schools.

BRAC has set up more than 1,400 play-based early childhood development centres across Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda, where close to 40,000 children aged 1 to 5 years are presently enrolled. Of these, some 1,200 centres known as ‘Khelar Jogot’ (‘World of Play’ in English) are in Bangladesh. In these centres, pre-school children have access to age-appropriate play materials, a play-based curriculum, and play spaces that ensure their holistic development.

“It is an honour to receive the esteemed LEGO Prize. Every child deserves the opportunity to grow and develop. This generous financial contribution will support the holistic development of an underserved group of children in Bangladesh with special needs,” said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.

View past recipients of the LEGO Prize here.
Learn more about BRAC here.

realplaycity report

https://www.legofoundation.com/media/3205/creating-systems-report-eng.pdf

https://www.legofoundation.com/media/2825/assessing-creativity_may2020.pdf

Currently lego prize focuses on 4 countries : denamrk south africa uktaine mexico

The Real Play Coalition is a non-profit alliance created in 2018 between UNICEF, National Geographic, Arup, IKEA and LEGO Foundation. Its ambition is to create a movement that will narrow the play gap for 100 million children by 2030; making play globally accessible, integrated and inclusive.



Sunday, January 30, 2022

news on goal 4 search spring 22 ;; 4.5

 


From Hong Kong's Yidan Prize and Luminaries ( and allthe people who value education as sustainability's best last chance)  ...education ideas bank

year of 21 not out yet - track reports here

from 2020 yidan report:
Sir Fazle sadly passed away in December 2019, but the work he began continues at pace. We spoke to his friend and colleague Dr Erum Mariam, Executive Director at the BRAC Institute of Educational Development, who described the team’s swift response to pandemic lockdowns. The work of our laureates l Our annual report for 2020 BRAC’s work has always reinforced the importance of women as change-makers in homes and communities. When the pandemic took away opportunities for children to gather in play centers, the team switched to the most powerful technology at their disposal: cell phones.

The power of picking up the phone kept play-based learning on the agenda for BRAC The BRAC team knew they needed to keep connected with parents, particularly mothers, throughout the pandemic. But how? Well, most people in Bangladesh own a cell phone— perhaps up to 90% (while only around 50% have internet). So in a matter of weeks, they set up weekly 20-minute phone calls, checking in on families, giving support to both parents and children, and suggesting games and activities to keep play-based learning alive. They call this telecommunications model Pashe Achhi, which means “beside you” in Bangla. Online learning platforms might be exploding in popularity, but for BRAC, you can’t beat the “power of human connection” you get with a one-to-one call. It also helps the team reach communities that might otherwise be completely disconnected. Before the pandemic, BRAC was already working with around 40,000 children in Rohingya refugee camps; cell phones have let the team stay in touch with 90% of them.Working with our Foundation gave BRAC the confidence to change plans and grow “Not for a moment did we hesitate,” says Erum. “We knew that Yidan would support us, and that gives us a lot of energy, and a lot of courage to do what we need to do.” Not only has BRAC been able to adjust its plans for expanding play-based learning in three countries, but they’re even exploring new ideas. With the help of another partnership, they’re finding ways to evaluate how they use mobile technology, echoing another of Sir Fazle’s founding principles: every intervention must be tried, tested, and improved at every stage
============================
update goal 3
Sir Fazle published in The Lancet 2013 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62112-1

Bangladesh's health revolution

related video berkeley 2015
few us universities offer more curriculum on s asia than berkeley https://chowdhurycenter.berkeley.edu/paper-prize
- the bangladesh scholars network inaugurated with this 2015 talk by sir fazle

Chowdhury, A. M.Karim, F.Rohde, J. E.Ahmed, J.Abed, F. H. (‎World Health Organization1991)‎
and

Controlling a forgotten disease: using voluntary health workers for tuberculosis control in rural Bangladesh 

Chowdhury, AMRIshikawa, NIslam, M.SHussain, S.Cash, R.AAbed, F.H. (Brac University1991)

Use and Safety of Home-Made Oral Rehydration Solutions: An Epidemiological Evaluation from Bangladesh 

Get access 
International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 17, Issue 3, September 1988, Pages 655–665, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/17.3.655

Saturday, January 29, 2022

4.5 early childhood education

update may 2022 - anyone trying to bring playschools to usa- this is sort of post we arersahing across nextdoor communities ---www.abedplay.com SUMMARY WHY PLAYSHOOLS - 40 years ago i had a great job researching (indirectly for MIT) what 30 Asian nations peoples most wanted societies to develop- i started to find what we now call sustainability goals depend on family-community rising local services especially women empowerment networking; there's no earlier place for a family to start than playschools; ; I am talking about designing great value (loving caring schools) locally not just expensive playschools though there is no reason why not learn from what best paid teachers do ... here's an example from worldwide collaborations in celebrating playschools  - https://www.google.com/search?q=hult+impct+taiwan   -  In 2015, the Hult prize challenged teams to find solutions for the early childhood education gap (0–6 years old kids).[20] The winning team was IMPCT from the IMBA Program at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. The team developed PlayCare, a micro-equity platform, where everyone can invest in sustainable education businesses under a profit-sharing-model. The education businesses, like care centers in urban slums, supports also with educational efforts and increasing enrollment.[26] The team also named Ann Louie Li their Founding Ambassador, who pioneered the social media movement 'Creating an #IMPCT'.. Something i find odd about DC is world bank studies things like good playschools in dozens of countries but has no time to share with American communities. Meanwhile the supreme court seems to hate family empowerment. However we the parents can get on building playschools without these bureaucrats who seem to have given up all notions of serving community connectors just when the technology of AI depends on how deeply diverse the data is coded. Most days I am at Grand (20 story condo) by white flint if any playschool fan wants to drop by  chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk

Typically an Abed playschool 3-5 year olds connects 20 neighboring families (communally within walking distance of each other: before 6 child is literate, numerate, has enjoyed 3 years of loving care, in montessori style has become great teamworker
Over 50 countries now replicating- why not community build next door to you
2001 30 YEARS INTO FINDING PARTNERSHIPS TO SUSTAIN THE POOREST ASIAN VILLAGE WOMEN- Fazle Abed decided to take up Mrs Steve Jobs challenge - why cant women globally share in sdg 5-4-3-2-1 solutions you have helped billion poorest asian women to co-create. 

Abed's answer was to create brac university 4.4 ,  and to start creating masters that had never been offered before. 4.5 MA in early childhood education - started at brac university 16 years ago, this has become the most massive new education movement- the world bank catalogues over 100 projects and that's just in the developing world- while not everyone studies early childhood the way abed designed it - LEGO does, the world's number 1 education luminaries out of hong kong CELEBRATED BY TECH BILLIONNAIRE YIDAN do -

 why because abed specified that loveq was what mattered most  wherever playschools live up to a billion women and his legacy: joy, safety, collaboration confidence of the early child and the loving relationship with and by her teacher and the community- make sense? learn more on 4.5  - if machine intel is to help save us in 2020s from pandemics and climate we'll need todays youth to be the most loving, collaborative, refugee caring across borders ever born and bred
============================================
by 6 - ie before a child graduates from early childhood basic literacy and numeracy should be rights! ie teaching methois exist that can make sure of this as clarified eg at yidan prize 2021 with evidence supplied by the 2 nobel economics laureates 2019 duflo and banerji

as well as early childhood schools directly implementing fazle abed designs, and methods reviewed by yidan we recommend
wise recommends colombia's foundation luker

Thursday, January 27, 2022

4.5 early lego education canot waie

 

EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT INTERVIEWS THE LEGO FOUNDATION’S NEW CEO ANNE-BIRGITTE ALBRECTSEN  


ECW’s largest private sector donor highlights the value of investing in early childhood programming and learning through play to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals


View Original

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen is the CEO of The LEGO Foundation.  Ms. Albrectsen has spent almost 30 years in fields of international development, human rights and diplomacy, most recently holding the position of Global CEO at Plan International since September 2015.

At Plan International, Ms. Albrectsen helped transform the organization by working together with children, young people, supporters and partners to deliver positive impact. Prior to Plan International, Ms. Albrectsen was United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director for Management at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She is also co-chair of the Board of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and a member of the United Nations Every Woman Every Child High Level Steering Group, the Generation Unlimited Global Board and she is the chair of the International Civil Society Centre Board.


ECW: Congratulations on your new appointment as CEO of The LEGO Foundation, a strategic and valued partner of Education Cannot Wait (ECW). Could you outline for us your vision for The LEGO Foundation as we work together to achieve SDG4 through The LEGO Foundation’s focus on early childhood education and Learning Through Play, particularly for children and youth impacted by crises and emergencies?

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen:
 Thank you, I am delighted to be heading up such an incredible organisation and it is wonderful to continue our longstanding partnership with Education Cannot Wait.
 
At The LEGO Foundation we promote the development of all children everywhere through playful learning, including children impacted by humanitarian crises and emergencies. We know that play reduces stress, builds resilience, while fostering imagination and hope. We are on a journey to transform the lives of at least 75 million children each year by 2032.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated existing problems faced by children all over the world. Put simply, we are facing a child rights crisis. And it’s only through collaboration that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure inclusive, equitable, quality education for all children – even in these unprecedented times.
 
This is why we hope to continue working with our partners, to change systems, attitudes and norms standing in the way of all children reaching their full potential.  Because when we team up, great things happen.
 

ECW: The LEGO Foundation is the leading philanthropic donor to ECW, working closely with us since 2019 to deliver inclusive quality education for crisis-affected children and youth. What message do you have to encourage other private sector donors to support our collective efforts for girls and boys impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate-change induced disasters and COVID-19?

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen: Listen to the children. Children are our role models, we listen to them and so should others.

Education is a top priority for children affected by crisis. When we address learning loss caused by crisis, families and entire communities benefit. Education boosts growth and reduces inequality. It ultimately promotes sustainable development. We simply cannot afford not to invest in children affected by crisis.

As we navigate COVID-19 recovery, we are at a pivotal moment in time to transform where, what, and how we learn. We have seen super smart solutions to education access. Now we must revolutionise education quality. Access to quality education is key to addressing 21st century challenges, including accelerating the fight to end poverty and climate-change.

Working in coalition with other donors is crucial to reaching the most vulnerable and in need children - especially in crisis and emergency situations. This is why we call on the private sector, philanthropic organisations, governments, and others to act now and donate generously to the global efforts for children impacted by conflicts, crises, climate-change induced disasters and the COVID-19 response and recovery.


ECW: The LEGO Foundation generously provided ECW with US$5.6 million in September 2021 in support of ECW’s work in Afghanistan and Haiti, bringing The LEGO Foundation’s total contributions to ECW to $33 million. What returns on investment for girls and boys, and for The LEGO Foundation, are you hoping to see as a result of these contributions to the work in Afghanistan and Haiti?


Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen: We know that by partnering with ECW attention is focused on both the immediate and long-term impacts of crisis situations and that two key elements always in focus are access to and quality of education.

The LEGO Foundation believes deeply in the power of Learning Through Play for children affected by conflicts and crises, as is the current situation in Afghanistan and Haiti.

Research proves that play provides comfort, helps children to overcome traumatic experiences, builds resilience and allows a return to the routine and normalcy of being a child. Play can also relieve excess energy, provide emotional catharsis, and express emotions in a non-threatening way, encouraging children to respond to challenges with creative problem-solving.  

Our investment in ECW will protect children and promote their learning and wellbeing by providing safe, equitable, locally relevant, and age-appropriate learning through play opportunities. This partnership will also support the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of all children.


ECW: Play is often underestimated in learning, despite being the most natural way of acquiring essential life skills in early childhood. In emergencies and crisis this is further compounded by lack of resources and stress experienced by children and caregivers. By the end of 2020 ECW had allocated 11.5% of resources to early childhood interventions, exceeding the 10% target. What do you think should be done to raise the profile of the importance of early childhood programmes and learning through play in emergencies?


Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen: The investment in the early years of the child’s life is absolutely crucial because the early playful experiences will have benefits that last well beyond the early years. We know that children learn best through play. Play is the most natural way for children to learn to read, write and do math, while also developing physically, socially, and emotionally to think creatively, and to collaborate to solve problems. This becomes even more important for the youngest children in emergencies. Playful learning can help them overcome the stressors caused by traumatic experiences.
 
Significant, coordinated investment in access to Learning Through Play in the early years is urgently needed to make a greater difference in the lives of children who find themselves in humanitarian crises and emergency situations. But it isn’t all about money. It’s also about using the power of brands like ours to influence others to invest in children’s learning, the development of holistic skills, and working in partnership with like-minded organisations like ECW.
 
We need policymakers, key decision makers and international leaders to pay attention to the early learning crisis, lending their support and voices to prioritising early childhood programmes. Children are not the future. They are the present!
 
And together we must ensure the importance of early childhood programmes and Learning Through Play in emergencies is amplified onto the public agenda. It’s only with awareness of the problem that we can work together to transform the education in emergencies ecosystem for the better.
 

ECW: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on all areas of virtually everyone’s life, and in many countries affected by emergencies and crises, vaccinations are still out of grasp. How does The LEGO Foundation see the long-term effect of the pandemic on education, particularly for crisis-affected children and youth already impacted by armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate-induced disasters prior to COVID-19?

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen: To put it very simply, the COVID-19 pandemic has made already dire situations worse. Overlapping crises of conflict, natural disaster and COVID-19 exacerbate the burdens that children face.
 
At the peak of the pandemic, 90 per cent of the world’s students were out of school – that’s 1.6 billion children. The impact of school closures and the subsequent learning loss is devastating for children. When children drop out of school, the impacts can last a lifetime. These children may not develop the skills they need to reach their true potential.
 
We do not yet know the full impact on children after they were deprived of the chance to develop socially and emotionally together. But we do know that the pandemic has widened existing inequalities and increased the insecurity of the most vulnerable, particularly those children impacted by crises and emergencies.
 
We may see the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for years to come, but it is our joint responsibility to act now, stepping in as soon as possible to prevent further loss of quality education.
 
We have a unique and unprecedented opportunity to transform education systems, driving Learning Through Play to the forefront of the education agenda and equipping children with the skills they will need to navigate an ever-changing world.
 

ECW: The LEGO Foundation continues to be an innovative leader in early childhood education and learning through play. What are the three most important achievements you feel have been made in this area as a result of The LEGO Foundation’s work and advocacy on the importance of early childhood education and learning through play in emergency and crisis settingsand what are the most pressing things still to be done?

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen:
 Firstly, I hope we have helped raise and amplify the voices of children affected by crisis. Lifelong learning through play starts at birth and, can and should take place anywhere. No one should be left behind.
 
The second contribution is towards generating greater evidence on the importance of early childhood education and Learning Through Play in emergency and crisis settings. Education being an underfunded area also makes it difficult to push for more investment in early education, yet evidence shows that early learning sets children up for success. Our two large investments in promoting and supporting playful learning experiences for children in humanitarian settings are creating, testing, and scaling up new playful early learning interventions, and part of this work is also giving us more evidence on what works and why.
 
The third, and probably the most important for us, is the impact we have on the lives of children. We are excited about the increase in the number of children reached with Early Childhood Education (ECE) interventions and increase in overall investments in ECE through ECW. We understand that many more Multi-Year Resilience Programmes (MYRPs) developed by governments with support from ECW include ECE or pre-primary education. This is a very positive shift. We want to see how playful learning is used in these programmes and what this does for holistic learning outcomes for children.
 

ECW: Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better on a personal level and reading is a key component of education. Could you please share with us two or three books that have influenced you the most personally and/or professionally, and why you’d recommend them to other people to read? 

 
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen: What a wonderful question: There are obviously great lessons for all of us in ‘Pippi Longstocking’ by Astrid Lindgren about children’s, especially girl’s, agency and ingenuity. More recent books which have shaped my thinking a lot include ‘New Power,’ by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms which helped inform my ideas about movements. I finally need to mention ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about what it means to be a feminist, and how gender roles and norms are detrimental to both men and women.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

4.5 brac play lab updates edited by hundred.org

 

play_arrow
HALL OF FAME 2022
Facilitating learning, development, and healing through play in the wake of COVID-19.

BRAC Remote Play Labs

location_onBangladesh
Play Labs are play-based learning centers for children ages 3-5 in low-resource settings. With the onset of COVID-19, BRAC is adapting the model for remote learning through radio and telecommunications, ensuring quality, affordable early learning opportunities for children affected by the crisis and helping them build better futures at a critical time in their development. Photo: BRAC / Lee Cohen
Devon McLorg, Director of Education, BRAC USA
BRAC is committed to engaging children and caregivers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring they can access playful, high-quality remote learning opportunities.

Devon McLorg, Director of Education, BRAC USA

KEY FIGURES

Innovation Overview

0 - 8
AGE GROUP
100 000
CHILDREN/USERS
3
COUNTRIES
2016
ESTABLISHED
Not-for-profit
ORGANISATION
9 055
VIEWS
UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 12TH, 2021
ABOUT THE INNOVATION

Remote Play Labs: Delivering early learning opportunities in the age of COVID-19

What is the Play Lab model? 

BRAC Play Labs are high-quality, low-cost, early childhood learning centers for children ages three to five in low-resource settings. Created in partnership with the LEGO Foundation, the innovative, community-based model centers learning around play in order to support children’s language, motor, cognitive, and socio-emotional development. The play-based curriculum incorporates physical play, songs and rhymes, stories, dance, art, and more as tools for learning, and engages caretakers and community members in creating low-cost, culturally relevant play materials to support children’s development. Designed to be adapted and scaled across a number of low-resource contexts, BRAC currently operates a network of Play Labs across Bangladesh, Uganda, and Tanzania, as well as a network of Humanitarian Play Labs serving children affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

The challenges of early learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

According to Education Above All, nearly 91% of learners around the world were out of school as of April 9, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The children that Play Labs serve are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, not only with respect to their educations, but also in terms of health, food security, and economic impacts. In these low-resource, developing, and humanitarian contexts, children are also disproportionately vulnerable to poverty and other adversities and stressors, which can impede brain development without supportive caregiving interventions. It is vital to provide these children – and their caregivers – with psychosocial support and playful early learning and stimulation opportunities that help address trauma, support healthy development, and provide a sense of routine and normalcy during this uncertain time.

During BRAC’s initial response to COVID-19, our frontline staff visited households to raise awareness, highlighted precautionary and protective measures, and provided guidance on ways to support child and family wellbeing. Given how hard-hit many families are in communities with Play Labs, BRAC is also providing nutritional supplements to the most disadvantaged children to ensure they have the energy to learn through play. This intervention fits within BRAC’s broader response work, which includes providing cash transfers, food assistance, and essential health services. As COVID-19 continues, BRAC is committed to protecting and engaging children and caregivers and ensuring children have the resources they need for their play, learning, and wellbeing.

Remote Play Labs

With the onset of COVID-19, BRAC is adapting the Play Lab model for remote learning, ensuring delivery of quality early learning opportunities to children affected by the crisis, and helping them build better futures at a crucial stage of their development. Building on the foundation of the Play Lab model, BRAC is safely delivering remote playful learning experiences for children up to age eight through radio and telecommunications platforms.

Remote Play Labs reach more than 100,000 children in Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Uganda to support children’s social, cognitive, and language development and ensure caregivers are equipped to support children’s wellbeing and remote learning. Radio Play Labs also reach millions of additional children with play-based learning content through local radio stations. These interventions will enable children and their families to stay connected, continue learning, and maintain their wellbeing through the global pandemic. Play Labs use of telecommunications and radio to reach children and families in this time will serve as a foundation to ‘build back better’, as remote learning will be a valuable modality in the contexts where BRAC works during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

  • Pashe Achhi: Our Pashe Achhi (or "Beside You") telecommunications model reaches 100,000 children and their caregivers through 20 minute phone calls every week, using a script developed by BRAC’s in-house team of play-based curriculum developers and psychologists. The model integrates early learning and mental health, covering topics like self-care, child stimulation, play-based learning, and COVID-19 awareness. In 2022, Pashe Achhi will be expanded to have a greater focus on how caregivers can support children's social-emotional learning at home.
  • Radio Play Labs: To expand our reach even further, BRAC adapted elements of its flagship Play Curriculum and parenting curriculum for national and community radio. During the radio sessions, Play Leaders and teachers lead interactive, playful activities for literacy and numeracy; hold storytelling sessions; and share messages on child development, positive parenting, nutrition, stimulation, safety, and wellbeing. Parents and older siblings are actively encouraged to participate and help create a child-friendly and playful environment at home.
  • ECD helplines: In partnership with telecommunications companies, BRAC launched telelearning helplines to provide caregivers with more options to access information and guidance related to early childhood development. When caregivers call BRAC's ECD helplines, they have the option of accessing Interactive Voice Response (IVR) messages or connecting with live helpline staff. Helpline staff are fluent in local languages so all callers can receive the help and guidance they need.

What's next

Since the onset of the crisis, BRAC has iterated on implementation of the remote learning model, integrating components that address the increased prevalence of domestic and gender-based violence through an increased focus on child protection and meaningful engagement and mental health support for both mothers and fathers. BRAC has also learned the value of building on existing infrastructure through partnership with national hotlines, particularly in Tanzania, which has led to government buy-in and support, and ensured that the model  is sustainable and accessible. 

In 2022, BRAC will expand its Radio Play Labs and ECD helpline to provide greater coverage in Uganda's refugee-hosting Arua region. It will also conduct research to measure the effectiveness of Pashe Achhi in Bangladesh and the Radio Play Labs in Uganda, which will further build the global evidence based on remote learning through play and help inform future BRAC programs. These moves will help serve BRAC's goal of expanding mental health and remote learning support so that children and their families can heal and learn through play while building the resilience critical to facing the long-term affects of the crisis.

About BRAC

Founded in Bangladesh in 1972 as a small relief effort, BRAC is now a world-class global development organization working in eleven countries around the world Ranked the number one NGO in the world for the sixth time in 2020, BRAC runs programs in education, youth empowerment, health care, agriculture, humanitarian response, and more. Play Labs build on the organization's expertise as one of the world’s leading education providers for marginalized children, with more than 12 million graduates of its pre-primary and primary programs.