Begin with the Beginning, Palestine

In this project, that ran from 2012 to 2014, innovative, community based initiatives were introduced to improve the services, education and care for young children (0-8) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with a focus on 9 villages in the West Bank.

ICDI’s role was to support the Palestinian partner, EFCD Trust), through training and advice.


The project focused on the following Specific Objective: Development of good quality community based Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services in 9 locations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Especially the youngest children are now mostly ignored (both from within Palestinian society, as well as by outside agencies). We selected 9 deprived areas, with high degrees of poverty and marginalization and with a lack of any meaningful ECEC services. Creating such services there served as an example and starting point to make improvements in other villages and cities in OPT.

The following results were achieved:

Result 1: Increased quality and number of ECEC services for children aged 0-10 in the target locations.

The primary target group were 3000 young children aged 0-10. These were children from marginalized families whose lives are dominated by insecurity in their homes and communities. This insecurity is related to socio-economical stressors, such as domestic violence, poverty, malnutrition, (gender) discrimination, military occupation, and so forth. These children are deprived of basic rights as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), such as the right to health, education, development and care.

Result 2: Strengthened capacity of local communities to develop and maintain stimulating, child friendly services and practices.

Our other focus was on those who are responsible for the care of the children, such as parents, teachers and school directors, CBO/NGO staff, social workers, but also local authorities. We improved the pedagogical competencies and the awareness on, and support for ECEC amongst:

  • 800 mothers from marginalized families with socio-economical problems.
  • 150 teachers, pre-primary teachers, who lack the proper skills and educational background in active learning.
  • 50 child care workers from local CBOs/NGOs, who are in need of professional development (and inspiration!) and who will become members of the ECEC committees.

Next to this work with specific adult target groups, the project established so called ‘ECEC committees’ in each target location. These are community based groups, made up of enthusiastic and relevant stakeholders. They developed ECEC action agendas and will be responsible for ensuring that new Early Childhood Education and Care services are developed and maintained.

Facts and figures


Early Childhood and Family Development Trust (ECFD Trust)


European Union

Project Manager

Rutger van Oudenhoven