Community Based Childcare Centers (CBCC) across the country are set to benefit from a donation of toys from Lego, a Danish toy maker, under a ‘Lego toys for Malawian children’ project that was launched in Lilongwe last week.
The project, which is being implemented by Dan Church Aid (DCA) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) will see 12,000 children from the age group 1-12 years receiving high quality and durable toys for educational purposes in CBCCs.
Speaking during the launch of the project at Kalolo Admarc ground, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Child and Community Development, Dr. Mary Shawa said the project has been launched at the right time as the country is struggling to reach its goals on Early childhood education.
“As a Ministry, we are working hard to facilitate the establishment of early childhood centres across the country but we have managed to reach only 38 percent of our target and we are pushing to have many more children in nursery school,” said Dr. Shawa who was the guest of honour at the launch.
According to Dr. Shawa, research shows that children who undergo early childhood education deter from engaging in delinquent behavior and are usually successful in their adult life.
“More than 40 percent of those in our jails are people who never accessed quality early education. This only shows how important it is to have a well-functioning system that can support the social and mental growth of children when they are still young,” she said.
Adding, “I am very happy that DCA and NCA have taken this initiative of helping CBCC with toys as one way of supporting early education in Malawi. In Malawi, we have 2900000, and in all these kids, we are struggling to support them with toys and recreational facilities. We are only managing to reach about a million children with basic services.”
Commenting on the launch, Cecilie Winther, Regional Representative for DCA said the Lego toys project will be implemented in support of the organisation economic empowerment of women activities that it supports all over Malawi in close collaboration with its partners and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development
“Taking into consideration that most of the beneficiaries of the DCA/NCA funded activities are rural poor women who share their time between hard labour and family, Lego toys can become an essential tool in helping women whose children are in day care to generate more time for other economic activities while their kids will be utterly entertained playing with these new toys,” said Cecilie Winther.
The distribution of toys will be carried out by DCA and NCA through their partners working directly with childcare groups in close as well as remote districts.