LGT Venture Philanthropy partners with Lively Minds to improve education and care for pre-school children in rural communities in Ghana

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Accra, Ghana – LGT Venture Philanthropy Foundation (LGT VP) is pleased to announce the launch of our partnership with Lively Minds. Lively Minds is a non-profit working to improve access to quality education and care for pre-school children in remote, under-resourced rural communities across Ghana and Uganda. LGT VP’s initial one-year core funding will contribute towards the ongoing expansion plan in Northern Ghana.

A cost-effective, scalable solution in Early Childhood Development (ECD) for rural Africa

Founded in 2008, Lively Minds leverages existing government infrastructure (e.g., kindergarten teachers) to deliver lowcost, community-run educational playgroups for children as well as empowers mothers to provide nurturing care at home. This improves the life-chances and quality of life for the children, parents and the wider community. The use of government infrastructure also ensures the government is well-positioned to take on full ownership of implementation once the model attains scale. Notably, a randomized control trial found the model to outperform1 commonly used education interventions.

Potential to become a leader in rural early education at scale

LGT VP finds the Lively Minds solution to offer strong replication potential across rural Africa. The model’s flexibility ensures it can be adapted to suit local dynamics as evidenced by the use of different delivery channels in Ghana and Uganda. At present, Lively Minds is implementing a bold expansion plan with Ghana’s Ministry of Education that aims to embed the Lively Minds program as the national ECD solution for rural public schools. This expansion will see the Lively Minds program benefit up to 500’000 children annually by 2025 and could potentially provide a template for other African countries aiming to increase access to quality ECD among rural communities.

Complimentary to our existing ECD portfolio 

LGT VP’s Education Strategy aims to improve the primary-school readiness of over 500’000 children from low-income communities by 2023. Two of our portfolio organizations (i.e., SmartStart and LEAP) currently provide quality ECD to tens of thousands of children in South Africa and Liberia respectively. The addition of Lively Minds to our portfolio will extend our reach to include underserved communities in rural settings. Marcia Parada, Senior Investment Manager, said, “Lively Minds has the key ingredients of a scalable solution in ECD: a high-impact, cost-effective model with a willing government partner from day one. We are looking forward to supporting Lively Minds in delivering on its ambitious goals.”
Lively Minds’ CEO Alison Naftalin added, “We are excited about this partnership with LGT Venture Philanthropy that will enable us to strengthen our institutional capacity and internal systems to support the delivery of our scale-up plan in Ghana."

Lively Minds is a non-profit that aims to improve access to education and care for pre-school children (ages 3 – 6) in resource-poor, rural communities across Ghana and Uganda. The organization works through local government (i.e., kindergarten teachers in Ghana and Village Health Teams in Uganda) to train and empower mothers to provide better care at home and run educational playschemes. The low-cost program uses local materials and improves the life chances and quality of life for children, parents, and the wider community. For more information, please visit

LGT Venture Philanthropy is an independent charitable foundation established in 2007 with teams in Switzerland, Sub-Saharan Africa, and India. The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life of people facing disadvantages, contribute to healthy ecosystems and build resilient, inclusive, and prosperous communities. LGT VP focuses on strengthening the capabilities of locally rooted organizations that deliver effective, scalable solutions across health, education, and the environment contributing directly to the SDGs. For more information, please visit


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