12. Dec. 2023
The IRC, LEGO Foundation, and Grundfos Foundation launch a new $27 million program aimed at enhancing teaching and learning experiences among refugee and host community children in Kenya.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), the LEGO Foundation and the Grundfos Foundation, have partnered to launch TeachWell, an innovative Teacher Professional Development program for refugee and host community teachers in Kenya. This initiative will utilize the ‘learning through play’ teaching pedagogy to support the implementation of Kenya’s new Competence Based Curriculum by fostering essential skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, which are vital in promoting holistic learning among children.

The program is also designed to support safe and healthy learning environments for children, in addition to promoting their resilience and adaptability amidst challenges like drought, conflicts, and instability. Leveraging transformative educational practices, the goal is to ensure that children thrive in their learning environments, even in the most challenging circumstances.

"Building on the PlayMatters and Play Well programs in Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania, we are excited to build on our partnership with the LEGO Foundation in Kenya. Now, with the additional support of the Grundfos Foundation, we are taking a significant step forward in supporting the needs of refugee children in the region. TeachWell is not just an advancement in educational methods, but a reinvention of the learning experience for children, blending proven practices with innovative approaches."
David Miliband, President, and CEO of the IRC

TeachWell represents a new commitment by the LEGO Foundation to advance mental health and psychosocial support through the Kenyan education system in support of Global Refugee Forum and Global Compact for Refugee outcomes. Learning through play is a cornerstone of the program, with evidence showing that it improves socio-emotional skills and wellbeing in children, especially those in adversity.

LEGOSixBricks in Uganda.

The new programme on the PlayMatters and Play Well programs in Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania. The photo above is from LegoSixBricks in Uganda. Photo: IRC/D. Taremwa

Holistic approach increases school attendance

The new TeachWell program is set to transform learning in Kenya’s refugee and host communities by promoting holistic, child-centric teaching methods, skills based learning, and robust support for teachers. It prioritizes mental health and the safety of teachers, equips schools with essential water and sanitation facilities, and fosters resilience in educational settings to navigate crises effectively. When children have access to safe and sustainable WASH at school, attendance increases – particularly for girls.

"Improving access to clean water and sanitation for children as well as building resilience for schools to cope through emergencies like droughts, conflicts, and instability is crucial for educational success. By supporting these efforts, we aim to ensure that every child has a conducive space to learn and grow, thereby unlocking their potential."
Kim Nøhr Skibsted, CEO, Grundfos Foundation

TeachWell forms an active part of the Foundation’s commitment to the Kenya Refugee Alliance brings together a consortium of organizations, each bringing a unique strength to the initiative. The program is led by the IRC, with design and teacher training spearheaded by RTI International. The Lutheran World Federation will ensure program reach within schools and communities, while the African Population and Health Research Center will contribute vital research insights. Film-Aid Kenya will lead on community engagement, and a dedicated health partner to be identified will integrate playful and child-focused care in healthcare settings.

LegoSixBricks in Uganda

Fun with LegoSixBricks in Uganda. Photo: IRC/D. Taremwa