What happens in early childhood will matter for a lifetime
The importance of the first few years of a child’s life cannot be overstated. Research is teaching us that the foundation for strong and healthy children is set in early childhood. Yet, many of our young children are failing to develop to their full potential because of poverty, poor health and malnutrition, and exposure to violence, abuse, and neglect. Far too many are also still not able to attend quality early learning programmes.
By giving access to more of our vulnerable children to quality preschools and by giving parents the tools they need to help their children succeed, we can give those children a brighter future – a future that affects us all. We know that when children thrive, nations thrive.
As HOPE worldwide Africa, this is one of our top priorities. We designing and implementing programs in South Africa and promoting and supporting the expansion of quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs to other affiliate programs in Africa. 10,000 children have been reached through ECD services so far in 2014. In South Africa, we are now supporting 70 preschools in four provinces and assisting many of these with training, feeding, infrastructure projects and material and play support. We are also helping hundreds of parents and caregivers across most sites in Africa with the knowledge and skills to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their young children to grow and develop. We are working closely with government departments to ensure better coordination and access to services for children and families. We have presented our ECD Parenting program at several conferences and meetings in the past 18 months.
We believe that we have a unique window of opportunity to transform the lives of children, and that together we can put many more children on a path to better growth, learning success. We are grateful to partners such as Makro/Walmart and KFC for their support in our endeavors. More corporate partners have expressed interest in this opportunity.