A charitable foundation created by Lego has granted $100m to the not-for-profit behind Sesame Street to provide toys to displaced children.

The Lego Foundation announced that children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian refugee crises will receive storybooks, games videos and puzzle featuring characters from the TV show.

“Early adverse experiences negatively affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behaviour, and health,” chief executive John Goodwin said.

“By providing play-based learning to children in crisis, we can help mitigate the detrimental, long-term effects of displacement and trauma.”

The foundation, which owns 25% of the Danish toy and brick maker, was set up by the company’s founding family and is devoted to projects that support children through play.

Last year the MacArthur Foundation named the Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee winners of a $100m grant to create a television show for children who had fled conflict in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.

The new funding will double the amount available for the project, scaling up a “humanitarian play labs” and cerating special shows with Muppets from Sesame Street, its Bangladeshi version Sisimpur, and a new show for the Syria response region.

It will also bring early learning to displaced and support parents to help their children too.

“With the LEGO Foundation’s extraordinary award, Sesame Workshop and our partners have an unprecedented opportunity to reach and teach some of the world’s most vulnerable children by harnessing the power of learning through play,” Jeffrey D. Dunn, president of Sesame Workshop said.

“The global refugee crisis is the humanitarian issue of our time, and we are deeply humbled by the trust the LEGO Foundation has placed in us to uplift the lives of children affected by conflict.


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