Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has commended the inclusive Early Childhood Development (ECD) services being championed in Chikhwawa District.
Speaking during a visit to Tithandizane Community Based Care Centre (CBCC) in Senior Chief Ngabu’s area, the ministry’s national coordinator for integrated ECD, Francis Chalamanda, said he was pleased with the way the centre is involving children with disabilities to access education.
Chalamanda said he was pleased with the way the CBCC is involving children with disabilities to access education at the centre, adding that the ‘leaving no one behind’ component within the ECD services was being achieved.
“What has impressed us is the great number of children with disabilities here than in most CBCCs in the country which is a very positive development,” he said.
He urged parents and guardians that have children with disabilities to send them to CBCC centers unlike other people who hide them in their homes.
Further, he asked other Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to open up more centres at every Group Village Head level in order to provide children with opportunities to learn things at a tender age.
“Our national policy on early childhood development has a vision that all children should have a good education base for them to progress well in life and our mission is to reach out to all children with ECD interventions,” said Chalamanda.
So far, 10 CBCCs under Senior Chief Ngabu have benefited from the concept of leaving no one behind championed by Centre for Children’s Affairs (CCA).
CCA project officer Memory Chafulumira cited lack of food as the major challenge for the CBCCs.
She said her office has trained parents of children with disabilities, community committees, child protection workers and health surveillance assistants to enhance provision of the ECD services.
He commended the communities managing the CBCC centre for the care they give to the children through the food support they receive from World Food Programme and the SOS Children’s Village on top of the sanitation and hygiene practices being observed at the centre.
The ‘leaving no one behind’ concept in the area is being championed by Centre for Children’s Affairs with support from the Sight Savers.