500 Ethiopian children under 4 play and learn in our Play Hubs

September 12, 2019

The project 'Making the first 1000 days count! Ethiopia' started in April 2018 and now, after 18 months, the fruits of the efforts of Education for Sustainable Development and ICDI are becoming visible.

- 7 Play Hubs were opened in the Amhara region and have already reached almost 500 children under 4, their carers and siblings.

Play Hubs are family friendly centres, located next to Health Posts or Health Centres, designed and run in collaboration with community members, educators and health extension workers. Here young children can play with toys and join educational activities and parents can participate in workshops about child development, education, health, nutrition and parenting, and services can connect with each other and reach out to the 'hardest to reach' families. 

- Over 400 vulnerable families took part in the home visiting programme.

The home visiting programme is developed by ICDI to supplement the existing health extension workers’ programme, supported by the national Ethiopian government, which is focusing mainly on health and nutrition. Our home visiting programme puts play and responsive parenting at the centre, offering carers access to important information as well as very practical tools they can use in the day-to-day relationship with their young children.

- 50 families received financial support to improve their income, take part in training programmes and ensure a better future to their children.

ESD offers temporary financial support to families in extreme poverty, to allow them to improve their conditions thanks to the access to basic goods and to vocational training programmes, which enhance their chances to find employment. Supporting the income generating opportunities of these families has a direct positive impact on the overall development of their children. 

- Over 300 women with children under 4 or pregnant received support to access existing prenatal and postnatal services.

Prenatal and postnatal services are available and free in Ethiopia, but they are mostly located in the largest towns and villages. Women living in isolated rural areas find hard to access these services for lack of transportation or for the high accommodation costs their families incur into if the women are admitted for childbirth. The project is supporting women by paying for transportation and accommodation of their families. 

What's next?

In the following 12 months, ICDI and ESD aim to reach 1000 children and families, evaluate the impact of the approach adopted and convince local authorities to sustain the Hubs and the home visiting programme beyond the end of the project. 

We are also working hard to pilot the 'Making the first 1000 days count!' approach in other countries. 

This projectis made possible thanks to the generous support of Dioraphte and other donors.