How CCFC is putting children first in Ethiopia
A workshop shines light on the need to foster positive early childhood development
Semereta Sewasew, communications manager, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Government officials, UN agency reps, academics and non-governmental workers in Ethiopia gathered recently to discuss how to replicate Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) programs to foster better early childhood development.
“The main objective of the workshop was to present the effectiveness of field-tested cognitive and emotional development approaches for early childhood development and explore new opportunities to scale them up. We’d like to strengthen our collaboration with key stakeholders, including government ministries, universities and international development partners,” explains Dr. Feleke Tadele, country director of CCFC in Ethiopia, of the workshop, which shared findings from two successful CCFC early child development projects.
More specifically, CCFC has trained parents to interact with toddlers (under the age of three) to stimulate their brain development. The organization has also constructed and renovated child-friendly early childhood and education centres (ECCEs) for children aged four to six, providing access to clean water and latrines as well as playing and learning materials. ECCE facilitators have also been trained, in keeping with the Ethiopian government’s expectations for the sector. Finally, children and parents have learned the value of interactive play in nurturing a child’s curiosity and imagination through dramatizations, art and social games.
“We’ve noticed children attending programs at these centres have better socialization, improved hygiene, enhanced cognitive development as well as improved gross- and fine-motor skills than those equivalent to their age who do not attend the ECCE program,” says Dr. Feleke Tadele. “If scaled up, such programs would benefit many more children across Ethiopia.”
There’s hope change in early childhood development is possible, and as workshop participants shared their experiences, they drew lessons from CCFC initiatives.
About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:
Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.