Jyry Virtanen via web
In 2016 the project was implemented across the 24 target communities of the four program areas of Lira, Tororo, Kampala and Kamuli.
On a national level Plan International Uganda facilitated the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development as a mother Ministry, together with other ministries to disseminate the National Integrated Early Childhood Development policy across the Kampala, Kamuli, Lira, Tororo and their neighbouring districts. The approval of this Integrated policy has become a key milestone in the implementation and support of the ECD interventions in the country. Relevant government departments and partners were equipped with knowledge of their respective roles and responsibilities in Early Childhood Care and Development and its importance. This increased knowledge and ECCD/CLAC experience among the partners and relevant government departments and partners were engaged to develop district IECD Plans/ commitments, identified emerging issues and action Plan to address the issues pointed out.
1,695 (688M, 1007F) Fathers and mothers attended the parenting sessions of which 30 (11M, 19F) 2% of the parents are physically and visually impaired. Having the fathers club separate from the general parenting group so that they talk about their issues as men has a positive effect in keeping them available and supportive. Most fathers enjoy the discussions with fellow men and this keeps them attending regularly.
3,276 (1639M, 1,637F) children of which 59 (33M, 26F) children with disabilities were enrolled during the enrolment drives that were conducted across the 24 ECCD Centres. 1,185 (580 boys, 605girls) children graduated in preparation to transit to Primary One across Kampala, Kamuli, Lira and Tororo. Children exhibited competences in school readiness skills that is; literacy, self-care and learning through play as an indication of well-developed language, social, cognitive and physical skills.
131 (44M, 87F) ECCD caregivers across the 24 communities from Kamuli, Kampala, Lira and Tororo were equipped with skills on Government recommended Early learning modules session delivery, child friendly teaching of infants, daily assessment of children, alternative skills in motivating children both boys and girls in class, child alternative means of disciplining children, daily routine and use of learning Framework in preparation for their Certification in Community child care.
22 (3M, 19F) Infant primary teachers were trained by the education supervisor and the CCT of Makindye division – Kampala. Teachers acquired skill in reading and its importance, teaching, writing and reading methods; writing and its importance, development of reading materials at school level, material development and special needs education, use of child friendly handling methodologies irrespective of their ethnicities, child care and use of variety of learning materials.
The harsh weather pattern during this reporting period was detrimental to the children and center activities especially in the beginning of the year. The climate change related drought made it difficult for parents to contribute and participate to the ECD activities as they were struggling to yield crops. Parenting Education Sessions were rescheduled to weekends to allow them engage in the garden work during the week days.
In Kampala, 2 of the 6 centres located on private property – church and communal land may hardly survive for the next ten years after the project phase out if the landlords or their heirs change their minds to develop the pieces of land where the ECCD Centres are based. This is exacerbated by the high Caregivers’ turnover for better lucrative ventures due to the meagre contributions from parents. However, continued dialogue and local advocacy is being done to combat this.
Engaging community volunteers, who have gone through a hand on training and mentorship to carry out training, is a better way of sustaining the project after the phase-out of the project because they do it with dedication with minimal costs. They continue sharing information using various forums.
Engaging fathers in parenting sessions and local level advocacy has enabled more men to get involved in child care and other family activities. When Local Government staffs are engaged in training project beneficiaries, they are able to do further follow ups on their own, they understand the project more and they are able to report about the project to different stakeholders in different forums.