Enhancing Africa’s Early Childhood Education to break intergenerational cycles of inequality

Enhancing Africa’s Early Childhood Education to break intergenerational cycles of inequality

The population of African children is projected to reach 1 billion by 2055, making Africa the continent with the largest number of children. This denotes how critical it is to invest in Early-Childhood Education (ECE) to achieve Africa’s development agenda. This emphasis is reflected in the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25), which identifies ECE as “the next frontier for Africa to realize sustained quality education”.

However, and despite growing evidence of its importance, ECE remains severely underdeveloped. Some of the sectoral challenges listed by the CESA include inadequate planning, limited resource allocation, poorly trained teachers, and insufficient materials. These issues result in educational disparities, poor management, and a lack of a coherent curriculum across Africa. This situation disproportionately affects children living in rural or underserved communities, where there are few or no preschools to provide quality education during their early stages of life.

As we commemorate the International Day of the African Child weat Humana People to People (HUMANA), recognize the indispensable impact of ECE in breaking intergenerational cycles of inequality. Engaging children in educational activities from a young age equips them with critical thinking skills, literacy, and numeracy, which lay the foundation for academic success. Furthermore, by nurturing emotional and social skills, ECE empowers children to develop resilience and navigate social environments effectively.

We urge Africa’s Heads of States to prioritize invest in Early Childhood Education, to prevent millions of children from starting school at a disadvantage every year. Transforming teaching and learning is paramount in this endeavor, necessitating a shift in classroom practices to foster creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills among preschoolers. The time has come to elevate Early Childhood Education to the forefront of Africa’s education agenda, laying the groundwork and continually enhancing it as the cornerstone for meeting the demands of 21st-century skills.

Our Approach

We recognize the critical role of ECE as the foundation for sustainable development and its power to ending inequalities. We recognize the pivotal role of early childhood education (ECE) in laying the foundations for sustainable development and its potential to break intergenerational cycles of inequalities.

For more than 30 years, HUMANA, in collaboration with our dedicated members, has placed a strong emphasis on Early Childhood Education together with its members. Through three main people-centred and community-led flagship initiatives – Preschool of the Future (POF) Movement, Preschool of the Future Teacher Training (POFTT) and Child Aid – we have consistently prioritized and invested in the holistic development of young learners and community education programmes.

For more than 30 years, HUMANA, in collaboration with our dedicated members, have placed a strong emphasis on Early Childhood Education together with its members Through three main people-centred and community-led flagship initiatives – Preschool of the Future (POF) Movement, Preschool of the Future Teacher Training (POFTT) and Child Aid – we have consistently prioritized and invested in the holistic development of young learners and community education programmes.

Preschools of the Future (POF)

Humana People to People developed the Preschools of the Future (POF) model to provide quality pre-school education to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and support children’s transition from ECE to primary school in a sustainable way.

Humana People to People in South Africa has implemented the POF model to mobilise vulnerable communities to embark on a journey to provide holistic child-centred education for their children in 3 municipalities -eThekwini, Ndwedwe and Maphumulo- in KwaZulu Natal province. Each village forms a Parents’ Committee, collaboratively overseeing preschool operations alongside teachers and a dedicated project leader. Through targeted training in adult literacy, childcare, nutrition, hygiene, and early childhood development, parents become active participants in their children’s education journey. This grassroots approach fosters a ripple effect throughout neighboring communities, representing a significant stride towards achieving universal access to education for all children.

In 2023, more than 1,600 students were enrolled in 43 preschools and as result the students are more active, eager and able to learn. Additionally, these preschools have effectively reduced the drop-out rates in primary schools, showcasing their positive impact on educational continuity and retention.

Preschool of the Future Teacher Training (POFTT)

We recognize the role early-childhood teachers play in helping children to thrive and learn. The one-year Preschools of the Future Teacher Training (POF-TT) programme aims to improve the quality of ECE in vulnerable communities by providing training that enables support of unemployed young people with a preschool teacher qualification.

In Namibia and South Africa rural preschool teachers are recruited locally and trained by our members, DAPP Namibia and HPP South Africa, through POF Teacher Training schools. In the past five years, 482 POF teachers have graduated from these schools.

Child Aid

Preschools are an integral part of the community development that Humana People to People strives for through its members projects. For this reason, the Child Aid programme supports children, parents and the entire community in collaborating to enhance living conditions for children and address the challenges in the whole preschool development process.

DAPP Zimbabwe’s Child Aid Bindura/Shamva project works with 2,000 families organized in 80 Village Action Groups (VAGs). These come together to identify challenges and mobilise themselves to find solutions to ensure that no child is left behind. Additionally, parents form the School Development Committee oversee the preschool and provide valuable support and resources to ensure its sustainability. The project also aids children without parents to enrol in preschools and support them in remaining enrolled.

At HUMANA, we believe that education is every child in Africa, regardless of their location, race, parental status, disability, gender, or any other status. By improving access to quality Early Childhood Education, we are not only addressing current educational disparities but also laying the foundation for a prosperous and equitable future for the continent. We will continue to invest in education and community development programmes to instil communities with hope, promote cohesion and create equal ECE opportunities for all.

DAPP Zimbabwe 2023 Annual Progress Report, detailed version

DAPP Zimbabwe 2023 Annual Progress Report, detailed version

We are pleased to present our 2023 Annual Progress Report, detailed versionhttps://dapp-zimbabwe.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/312/2024/05/Annual-Report-2023-web-version-compressed.pdf. This report highlights our combined efforts in improving people’s lives in Mashonaland Central, Manicaland, and Masvingo provinces within our thematic areas of education, agriculture, health, community development, and disaster response.

Throughout the year, we made significant strides, particularly on pressing concerns such as global warming, climate change, and cholera epidemics. Our people-centered approach has not only produced excellent results, but it has also generated long-term collaboration with local partners, government officials, and other key stakeholders.

May we invite you to read

81 GRADUATES AT FRONTLINE INSTITUTE

81 GRADUATES AT FRONTLINE INSTITUTE

EIGHTY-ONE students graduated at a colourful ceremony held at our Frontline Institute project in Shamva following the completion of six-month courses titled “Our Humana People to People and Open Future Together”.

The graduates were students under the Humana People to People projects who demonstrated their dedication to development work leading to their training as global activists and advocates in development issues. The graduates hailed from Botswana, Laos, China, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Together, the 81 students acquired skills and knowledge of coming up with people-centric solutions dealing with local solutions. Staying in rural areas areas, the students were also trained to work in community-based projects upon exhibiting resilience amidst difficult living conditions.

Part of their training course included the Institution’s Trick Cycling programme where for two months, the students and their teachers travelled to the hard-to-reach communities implementing investigative pedagogy as their main method of learning. With this approach, students were nurtured to address real-life issues while the practical exercises boosted their interactive methods of studying, action research, group work and social interactions which proved to be a solid foundation for long-life lessons.

Forty-five students graduated on-site with the rest graduating virtually from their respective countries. Gracing the graduation ceremony were various stakeholders among them government officials, diplomats, local leaders, the media and DAPP staff.

The Frontline Institute is a multi-cultural institution for cultural exchange offering students the opportunity to learn and accept the diversity and oneness of humanity. The Institute also enhanced research skills giving the graduates leverage in coming up with solutions meeting the needs of different communities and current climatic conditions.

Over 60 per cent of the staff trained over the years at the Frontline Institute are still working in Humana projects promoting continuity and sustainability showing staff retention is at the core of the Institute. Around 6,000 people have graduated in 128 intakes at the Frontline Institute since the programme’s inception in 1993.


2023 Annual Progress Report launched

We are excited and proud to announce the release of our Development Aid from People to People (DAPP Progress Report 2023.

The report reflects a collective effort that has propelled us to make an impact on people’s lives in Mashonaland Central, Manicaland, and Masvingo provinces. In the year 2023, our presence impacted the lives of 378,675 individuals from all circles of life and we made significant strides, especially in urgent emerging issues like global warming and climate change, as well as the recent cholera outbreak.

Green Paths for You(th) and the Climate project launched

Green Paths for You(th) and the Climate project launched

Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Zimbabwe is proud to announce a transformative partnership with the Swiss Academy for Development (SA4D) to launch a comprehensive three-year project focused on empowering disadvantaged youth in Shamva District The joint effort, named “Green Paths for You(th) and the Climate,” aims to empower 300 disadvantaged young people aged 15-24 over a 34-month period starting from March 1, 2024.

At the core of our project is the goal of equipping young people with vital skills in sustainable, climate-smart agriculture to improve food security, nutrition, and income stability. Through targeted technical and practical training sessions, participants will gain practical knowledge and hands-on experience in agricultural practices that prioritize environmental sustainability.

Beyond technical skills, we recognize the importance of enhancing employability and life skills among youth. To achieve this, our project integrates innovative sport and play-based sessions that impart agri-entrepreneurship knowledge and general life skills. By combining practical training with ongoing mentorship, coaching, and provision of start-up tools, we aim to empower participants to embark on successful economic ventures.

A central aspect of our project is the commitment to addressing mental health challenges and combating alcohol, drug, and substance abuse among young people. By fostering awareness and providing support, we seek to promote healthier lifestyles and cultivate a more engaged and resilient youth population in Shamva District.

DAPP Zimbabwe is also focused on enhancing our organizational capacities through this partnership. Our dedicated local staff and community members will receive specialized training on SA4D’s sport and play-based approach, enhancing our ability to integrate these methodologies into our broader development activities. This capacity-building initiative will strengthen our impact and visibility, particularly in the field of “Sport for Development.”

As we embark on this journey, we recognize that the project’s impact extends far beyond our direct participants. Planned awareness-raising activities and community engagement events will benefit the broader project area, fostering sustainable and inclusive development across Shamva District. With 300 young people set to benefit directly from our training sessions and community initiatives, DAPP Zimbabwe is excited to be at the forefront of positive change. Together with SA4D, we are committed to building a brighter future for disadvantaged youth and their communities, creating pathways to sustainable employment and improved well-being.