our model

Lively Minds work to get rural-preschool children in Ghana and Uganda school ready. Our vision is that ALL children have the opportunities to develop their skills and talents, and the chance to reach their full potential.

To achieve that vision, change needs to happen at scale and solutions need to be affordable and sustainable by Governments. We have spent 11 years designing and fine-tuning our model with this in mind.

Our ‘hybrid’ programme targets both the home and preschool environments to improve early childhood care and education in resource-poor, rural villages where it’s needed most. We do this by building the skills and confidence of marginalised mothers to run educational Play Schemes and provide nurturing care at home, using just the resources they have.

How it works

We work in partnership with local governments, who own and implement the programme, using a train the trainer approach that empowers, builds capacity and strengthens systems.

We have refined our approach to provide each local government team with a 2 Year Package to support them to set up and embed the programme. Over the two years the programme is fully integrated into their work, strengthening their processes. The goal is that when this set up and embed period ends they are fully able to sustain the programme themselves, with support from national government systems.

The 2 year package of technical support includes the full curriculum, capacity building workshops, coaching, and the systems and processes required to manage the programme.

Why it works

This simple but highly structured programme is specifically designed for implementation in remote rural communities and has been co-created with local government and communities.

The model is replicable at scale and adaptable to different country contexts:

  • in Ghana we work through Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Kindergarten system. Kindergarten teachers act as trainers and the Mothers come into the classroom every day.

  • In Uganda there is no pre-school or Kindergarten in most rural areas, we work through Sub-county teams, who train anexisting network of Village Health Teams as trainers. Play Schemes still take place every day in any available community building, or under the trees on a mat if no building is available.

Programme benefits
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"I believe that this programme has the power to transform ECCE in Ghana, and also globally… We are fortunate that the Lively Minds programme has been the subject of a world class study and this shows that this programme is working… the programme has seen significant improvement on cognitive skills, language, socio-emotional and health of children. It has also had positive impacts on the mothers, teachers and the GES teams involved."

— Hon Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, Ghana, May 2019

“The evaluation provides novel evidence that “hybrid” programmes that simultaneously target the home and preschool environments through parents can be effective at improving child development, as well as knowledge and practices of parents.”

— Institute for Fiscal Studies/Innovations for Poverty Action Randomised Control Trial endline report 2019

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Registered address:  PO Box 72928,  London,  N13 4TL

Registered charity: 1125512

GHANA:                                             UGANDA:

Registered NGO:  DSW 6759            Registered NGO : 13025