Anita Anastacio

In May 2019, Anita joined the LEGO Foundation as Senior Program Specialist supporting the foundation's new humanitarian portfolio with an initial focus on reaching the youngest children in settings of conflict and crisis, from birth to six, with Learning through Play (LtP) interventions.  The initiative aims to equip young children to develop the breadth of skills needed to thrive throughout their childhood and in adulthood.


At the LEGO Foundation she oversees the $100 million Play to Learn grant given to Sesame Workshop, BRAC and IRC to reach children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian refugee crisis with playful learning opportunities. 


She has also been instrumental in the recent $12.5 million award made to Education Cannot Wait, as well as a new initiative that shifts the applicaiton of Learning through Play from early childhood to primary education, an initiative that will focus on key countries in East Africa hosting large numbers of refugees. 


She looks forward to having Paul Frisoli join her on the Humanitarian Team at the LEGO Foundation in January, 2020. Anita also shared her avatar as well! [11/19]


Previously, in 2013, she moved to Childfund International where she became Director of Life Stage Programming—programs for children aged 6-14. Two years later, she became the Director for Child, Youth Development and Protection. In that role she oversaw all technical advisors and grants management staff supporting the 25 national offices in program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. 


She then moved to Lusaka, Zambia, ultimately becoming the Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa of Childfund International. There she was responsible for coordination of the country office, regional office, and HQ global program initiatives to strengthen program quality and promote the implementation and integration of programs.  Their work focuses on Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zambia.


From 2009 to 2013 she worked as the Senior Technical Advisor for Education with the International Rescue committee in New York where she managed a team of technical education advisors within IRC’s Children and Youth Technical Unit which provides technical support to IRC’s 22 country offices.


After graduating in 2006 from CIE she became CARE’s Chief of Party for the Partnership for Advancing Community Based Education project in Afghanistan. The community-based education project included support to primary education, accelerated primary education for out-of-school youth, adult literacy and early childhood education. [6-18]





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CIE Graduate