Set up of a new Early Childhood Development Corner (ECD corner) at the Lafto public health center to enable children who come for vaccination to learn through play as the health professionals assess their developmental level and refer them to follow-up when needed.
As we make our first steps into making our approach more holistic and focus on the entire Early Childhood Development (ECD) of children, which englobes nutrition, health, security & safety, early stimulation & learning as well as responsive care, we are very happy and proud to have collaborated with Dallol Creative Arts to support the Nifas Silk Lafto W12 Public Health Center start it’s first ECD corner where pediatric patients up to 5 years old will be able to have fun while the health professionals assess their developmental progress and at the same time teach the caregivers how they can create homemade toys to play and stimulate their children at home!
A dream team composed of Dallol Creative Arts, the Health Center, and N4ED, made this possible and we are really extremely grateful! We can’t wait to see the reactions of the children patients that are going to step foot in this corner as of this week when the ECD activities will be officially launched at the NSL W12 health center.
We are on the journey to build a holistic children’s center in Ethiopia. The first of its kind; the child care, child health and training center aims to improve the nutritional status, the health and the early childhood development of children under five in marginalized urban-poor communities. While our pilot project will be in Ethiopia’s capital -Addis Ababa- we aim to build similar centers throughout Ethiopia within 6 years.
Fact 1: A well-nourished child has higher chances of growing up to be a responsible adult. You are what you eat, right?
Fact 2: Lower-income families have limited access to basic human needs including being able to provide nutritious food for their children
Fact 3: Commonly families in these communities also incur the socio-economic burden of being a one-income household.
What problems are we solving? Our center aims to pilot a sustainable and scalable model of a unique integrated service that offers:
The opportunity for all children to have access to nutritious food
Quality early childhood development programs
Support marginalized mothers by offering health care to their offsprings
Capacity development training and tools provided for the mothers
A child care program enabling these marginalized mothers to work thus securing their economic integration, empowerment, and contribution to the households’ income.
We were able to secure 450 m2 of land located inside a health center in Nifas Silk Lafto Sub-City (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) donated to us by local authorities. Our center will host:
a child care wing focusing on early Childhood Development using the Montessori program
a health care wing with dedicated pediatric care, malnutrition treatment area, growth monitoring and breastfeeding corner
a fully integrated training area open for all community members to come and learn about nutrition, health, breastfeeding and gender issues
a kitchen and dining wing where nutritious meals will be cooked daily for the children and cooking classes focused on child nutrition will be given to parents.
Are we sustainable? To foster the community’s sense of ownership and secure sustainability the center will receive monthly contributions of USD 7 from beneficiaries that can afford it. For the beneficiaries that cannot afford this amount, the center offers in-kind contributions from them that also feeds into our sustainability plan. The center is able to provide mothers with the luxury of time to work. Fact 4: in Ethiopia, the average child care sector – with no focus on nutrition or with a platform for capacity development – charges USD100/month.
A gender-based violence discussion forum was organized to gather under the same roof concerned stakeholders from communities, government offices, religious institutions, and and non-governmental organizations. Testimonies, teachings and group activities were proposed to talk about the types of GBV that occur in communities, the possible solutions to make the voices of the victims heard, and the challenges faced by different institutions to attend to victims or to work on prevention.
As we progress towards the end of the design phase of our next project, what a pleasure to have such a fruitful and promising meeting with our partners, the Addis Ababa Health Bureau – Mothers and Children Directorate director and the Nifas Silk Lafto Sub-city Wereda 12 Health center – Medical director. Marching towards one of the most impactful projects of our organization – providing equal opportunities to lower-income community children through a holistic child care, child health, and training center! #community #earlychildhooddevelopment #nutrition #healthcare #womenempowerment
It’s as important to follow-up and support businesses and Self Help Groups we have established as it is to start them in the first place. That is why it has become an integral part of our work to followup the beneficiaries of our closed projects and keep on providing technical, marketing, sales, and management support. As the groups we have established during the project remain an important part of their support system, they also face challenges they/we haven’t anticipated and they know they can count on #TeamN4ED to help brainstorm solutions and take the scary leap of decision making together.
Saturday 13th of November was a memorable day for us. We celebrated our 5th anniversary with our members, volunteers, and staff. It was an amazing experience. A presentation was made on the work of the previous year, currents projects as well as the strategy of the organization for the next 5 years. A beautiful mug was given to everyone that was part of our journey as a souvenir giveaway. We are very thankful for these incredible 5 years, for all the work that we were able to do thanks to #TeamN4ED, and for all those who believed in us to give us financial and technical support. We wish N4ED many successful years ahead!
Last week we had amazing two days with our moms. They organized farewell parties for us and the stakeholders of the project. They showed us the businesses they created such as baltina (condiments shop), urban livestock, poultry farm, urban farming, and injera production. And we also exchanged different kinds of gifts. Furthermore, they witnessed how much they benefited from the education about the nutritional needs of their children and also about the maternal and child health education they received during and after pregnancy. We had a blast! We spent two days with laughter and lots of love. After working with them for about two and a half years we are like a big family and seeing them economically empowered and independent is just an amazing experience. We are very grateful!