4 years old Rabina Shahi of Punma-1, Gairi gaun VDC, Jajarkot is enrolled in Purna Jyoti Child Development Centre supported by ECCA Nepal. She regularly attends her classes. From reading and writing, Rabina spends her day playing games and being involved in group works and personal hygiene activities.
However, this privilege of children for quality and developmental education faced a different scenario few years ago. “No parents would send their children to school until they got 5 or 6 years old. Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD) was a negligent subject”, says Amar Bahadur, father of Rabina. There would never be more than 4 or 5 children in the childhood development centre. The classroom floor used to be full of dust and children would often go home dirty and crying with hunger. This compelled the parents especially with financially challenged situation to keep the children at home.
Child Development and Nutrition Enhancement Project that started in 2014 however brought a great change. Focusing on holistic growth of children, support for fundamentals of quality child education and growth was prioritized. Adequate stationery and educational materials were provided by ECCA with the support of Kinder MISSIONSWERK and Caritas Nepal. The classrooms were carpeted properly preventing the effect of dust upon health of young children. Provision of providing day meal to children on a daily basis was supported to enhance the condition of child nutrition. Children are now themselves willing to come to ECDs. Parents are equally encouraged to send their children to ECDs. There are currently 14 supported ECDs which directly benefit 129 children, 1434 students and 145 women in Jajarkot.
“Indoors and outdoors working has also gotten easier for us during daytime as we send our little children to the centre. We know they will be learning new and creative things and we don’t have to worry about them being hungry”, says Amar Bahadur.
“Everyday my child shares new things she has learnt from her teacher. It feels good to see your children growing up with a good learning.”
The program is continuing to bring more progressive change in the society of Jajarkot. We heartily thank our partners and supporters in making this possible.
-Upama Tamla (Rai), Media Associate, ECCA
Information Compiled by: Rudra Shahi, Field coordinator , ECCA