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Rwanda: Collaboration with Public and Private sector in promoting Early Childhood Development (ECD) Services

Published 09/26/2018 by Global Communities

Cutting the ribbon from left to right Tona Isibo Global Communities representative Beatrice Umwiza IM Representative Innocent Benineza DUHAMIC Executive Secretary DUHAMIC – ADRI

Rwanda: Collaboration with Public and Private Sector in Promoting Early Childhood Development (ECD) Services
Cutting the ribbon from left to right: Tona Isibo – Global Communities’ representative, Beatrice Umwiza, IM Representative, Innocent Benineza, DUHAMIC Executive Secretary,DUHAMIC – ADRI.

On Thursday August 2, 2018, USAID Twiyubake in collaboration with Huye district inaugurated the community owned Igihozo early childhood development center newly refurbished through a Rwf 1,000,000 sponsorship donated by I&M Bank through USAID Twiyubake. The donation was part of I&M Bank’s corporate social responsibility efforts to improve communities in Rwanda.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by representatives of the district, I&M Bank and USAID Twiyubake team (Global Communities and DUHAMIC ADRI).

Upon arrival of the guests, DUHAMIC ADRI field officer Clarisse Mukasafari toured the guests around the ECD center. In the classroom, children welcomed the guests with songs and dances and were given porridge.
In 2016, when USAID Twiyubake sensitized the community on the importance of establishing early childhood development (ECD) centers for vulnerable children and started training volunteers in the community on how to establish and manage those centers, Kigoma sector availed a room to establish the Igihozo ECD center.

Since then, the ECD center is managed and owned by parents living in the community, under supervision of the USAID Twiyubake program in a way that the community can sustain over time. The ECD center is operating from Monday to Friday from 7 to 11 am. In the parenting group, parents acquire positive parenting skills and they organize themselves to take turns in caring and providing porridge for the children, and constructing handmade play materials to be used by the children in the facility.

Refurbished Igihozo ECD Center

Although the Igihozo ECD center has been operating since June 2016, the building was old and needed urgently to be refurbished.

Through the USAID Twiyubake private sector outreach strategy, I&M Bank donated a sponsorship of a value of Rwf 1,000,000 with which the ECD classroom and the wash room were completely refurbished.
To actively support nutrition activities at the center, DUHAMIC ADRI implementing the USAID Twiyubake program in Huye district, donated Rwf 570,750 from a non USAID funded project, to build a kitchen while parents established a kitchen garden next to it which will serve as a demonstration plot to sensitize on the importance of a children’s balanced diet.

The leadership of Kigoma sector mobilized the community to clean up the compound, secure the steep slope next to the ECD center and repair the bridge to allow children safe access to the center.

“The children who welcomed us in the ECD center are Rwanda’s future, they will be among our leaders. These children are bright and being with them is a real joy.  I&M Bank is proud to have contributed to the development of this region”, expressed Beatrice Umwiza, I&M bank’s representative.

I&M Bank Representative, Beatrice Umwiza, giving porridge to children.

Beata, a mother of a child enrolled into the ECD center, explained that prior to establishing the Igihozo ECD center, there was no early childhood development in the region, children would start school at age 7 when going to primary school. The primary school is at a one-hour distance away. Today our young children are not running on the street anymore, they know how take care of their hygiene, and are more awake.

Protogene Muhire, Director of Education at Huye district, and guest of Honor, encouraged all the parents to bring their children aged 3 to 6 years to the ECD center. Our children are our pride and the ECD allow children to develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically. The ECD will not only help developing the child’s brain but also actively support nutrition activities as there has been a kitchen garden built next to the kitchen.

He also encouraged everybody to save money in the saving groups supported by USAID Twiyubake as it will help parents to take good care of their children, contribute to the porridge distribution at the ECD center, allow them to provide a balanced diet and buy children cloths. He thanked I&M bank for their generous contribution.