In the 1990 UNICEF publication: "The Situation of the World’s Children", it was stated that 100 million children would die in the following decade of reasons that could easily be prevented. Humana People to People answered by starting 25 Child Aid projects. The situation for the world’s children is however still a disgrace and much more is needed to secure the next generation a good life, with health and education, protected by basic human rights and with prospects for the future.
The Child Aid projects have developed tremendously. Today, there are 30 Child Aid projects, involving over 500,000 people in numerous activities improving the living conditions on community level - for the children and all the people around them. A Child Aid project works along 10 lines of development. 8 are similar in all Child Aid projects - 2 are locally identified. The project identifies a geographic area of operation and mobilizes, trains and organizes the people to take the situation into their own hands. The families are organized in groups and family coordinators are trained to lead the 3-year program with a step-by-step plan for improvements. As a Development Instructor in Child Aid you might be working within just one of the lines - or within 2 or more.
The 8 lines of work in Child Aid are:
- Line 1: Strengthening the Economy of the Family.
- Line 2: Health and Hygiene, hereunder HOPE.
- Line 3: Preschools.
- Line 4: Children as Active in the Social, Political, Cultural and Economic Sphere of Society.
- Line 5: Children without Parents.
- Line 6: Education.
- Line 7: District Development.
- Line 8: Enviroment.
POF in Malawi
Why did you decide to become a member of the school committe at the DAPP model pre-school?
I was very encouraged to hear that finally DAPP would open pre-schools in the Chiwamba area as they are needed in the area. I offered my time and energy to show my support to help establish the school committee for the first pre-school. I believe that the establishment of these pre-schools is of vital importance to the area as the children are the future of development in Chiwamba. When the children are able to go to school early, they are better equipped to attend primary school and will achieve a more developed understanding of active learning from a young age. This will also help the mothers to develop other activities while the children are at school, some may begin income generating activities.
How do you think the pre-school program will change the area?
Firstly, it will establish a tradition in the villages of sending the children to school early which will create a better primary school attendance. Secondly, it will create a base of youth that are more socially developed than the previous generations - this will help in creating a strong community. It will also help the community to monitor child health for the under-fives as each pre-school child will be weighed monthly to check growth curves and malnutrition levels.
What is your impression of the first DAPP pre-schools in Chiwamba?
I have been visiting the pre-schools regularly and I am very impressed with the activities going on within the schools. The most striking feature is the teachers’ enthusiasm while in the classroom. The teachers seem to have learnt much about how to teach children and how to deal with each child as an individual, not only as a member of a group. I am also very happy to see pictures of things like stars and planets on the walls, as these are things that usually children do not learn about at such a young age. It is also very surprising to hear children so young speaking English - this will help greatly with their job prospects when they are older.