Creating opportunities and access to ECD for children aged 0 – 5 years in low-resource communities.
The idea is to setup play centers for orphans and vulnerable children aged between 0 - 5 years in low income communities and their parents. The play centers will provide safe spaces for children to grow and develop their physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual/moral well being so that they can strive survive thereby helping them to achieve their full potential. The aim is also to help the children make smooth transition from home to primary school. The home-based play centers will provide secure environment, free from abuse, exploitation, harm and neglect for children.
In addition the idea will be a platform for enhancing community’s parenting skills and child care practices.
The idea project is two-fold, i.e. increasing opportunities and access for children aged 0 - 5 years and enhacing community's parenting skills and child rearing practices.
Children at the ECD Play Center being guided by a child care facilitator.
How it will Work:
For this idea to work, existing strengths of communities, families and social structures of positive child rearing practices will be used. Households will be identified together with the community where these play centers will be set up and equipped with learning and play materials made from local materials. The play centeres will be run by trained child care facilitators with the support of community leaders and parents. The project idea is based on local and traditonal play activities which are rich in enhancing children's holistic development and are cost effective. Children will use local materials for learning and play. These will include stones, sticks, grains, charcoal, hardboards, fresh leaves for their cognitive and interlectual development. For play activities to enhance children's physical development, the community and the children will use traditional games, and make play materials from recycled waste materials such as wires, old tyres, ropes to make swings, plastics to make balls, old cloth materials to make dolls. Cardboxes, toilet roles, egg trays and empty tins just to mention a few. Grandparents will provide a critical role of providing learning through story telling, riddles and poets for children's social and economic development.
Why it will succeed:
The idea will succeed because it will be community lead and driven initiative that will be based on the communiy's rich culture, norms and beliefs and values that promote child growth and development. The idea will also build on the positive pareting and child rearing practices that already exist in the community and the desire for parents to provide the best for children. The idea will also use cost effective local materials which are available in the community for learning and play. Furthermore, the idea will address some of the challenges of development in the community.
Questions for the community:
What are the greatest need of children in the community?
What activities are there to support children's growth and development ?
What challenges do parents face in bringing up their children in low income communities?
What support do parents need in low income community to help children achieve their full potential?
What hopes and dreams do parents have for the children?
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
The beneficiaries are Zambian orphans and vulnerable children, children in child headed households, children with disabilities, children with special needs, children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, abandoned children, children living in poverty, and children aged 0 – 5 years living in low-income communities. Others are parents and guardians including grandparents, young mothers and youths.
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?
1. Mobilize the community in which we work.
2. Introduce the idea,
3. Involve trained caregivers to make learning and play materials from local materials. Organize a group of 10 children and facilitate learning and play using materials made and available. Interview parents and children to get feed back.
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?
We would require feedback and partnerships.
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.