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

Registered charity: 1125512

GHANA:                                             UGANDA:

Registered NGO:  DSW 6759            Registered NGO : 13025  

our model

One of the key barriers to early child development is that deprived rural caregivers lack the information, skills and aspiration to provide their children with the education and care they need to fulfil their full developmental potential. We use a behaviour-change approach to build the capacities and transform the mindsets of the parents so they have the knowledge, skills and drive to give their children a better start in life and better chances for the future, using their own resources. 

  • We work in partnership with government. In Ghana with the Ghana Education Service and in Uganda with local government


  • The programme is delivered using a training of trainers approach. The trainers are Kindergarten Teachers (in Ghana) or Village Health Teams & Para-social workers( in Uganda).  


  • We support these trainers to train a minimum of 30 uneducated & marginalised Mothers in each community, to run Play Schemes for all the pre-schoolers (3-6 year olds) in their communities, using games made from cheap local materials. The Mothers perform this role on a voluntary basis.

  • The Mothers & trainers receive a package of ongoing training, supervision and support to keep them committed to the Play Schemes and so they provide better home-based care for their own children.

  • We build the capacity of local government officials, so that they can train and support the trainers and maintain quality of the programme.

This creates a sustainable, scalable and cost-effective way to bring high quality Early Childhood Care & Education to the hardest-to-reach, resource-poor communities who need it most.  

click on an image below to learn about the steps in our model >>


Target the poorest
We work in marginalised & resource-poor communities who most need this programme
Train trainers
We run centralised training workshops for trainers who are already based in our target communities (Kindergarten teachers in Ghana and Village Health Teams in Uganda)
Trainers train Mums
30 Mothers per community are taught how to run Play Schemes. Training includes how to make and play games, child-friendly teaching, and health practices. Our syllabus uses behaviour-change and play-based approaches to transform mindsets, gain buy-in and volunteerism.
Mums run Play Schemes
Mother run free play sessions on a voluntary basis. Schemes take place in schools or community building & games are locally-made. Children are arranged in small groups (1:5 Mother-child ratio). They rotate around 6 play stations covering different skill-sets that develop intellectual, language and socio-emotional skills leading to improved school-readiness. Mothers use discovery-based teaching methods, rather than rote learning which is the norm in formal settings.
Health & hygiene included
Children have to handwash with soap at the start of each play session, sensitising them to this life-saving activity. Mothers are given regular child health training.
Support & sustain
Trainers & Mothers are supervised regularly and are given a “capacity building workshop” every month on basic child-care, health, parenting and lifeskills topics. These are designed to give simple information and practical ways to take action, making use of local materials. Mothers elect Play Scheme Committees from their group & the wider community to manage & support the Play Schemes
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“It is clear from the analysis through interviews, observations and response to the questionnaires that methodologies of MASHAV and Lively Minds can be described as good, appropriate, cost effective, effective, child-friendly and attractive and can be adapted for use in Ghanaian kindergarten classrooms.

Ghana Education Service Assessment of Lively Minds Ghana programme, 2016

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The evaluation team commends and strongly recommends LM’s proposed idea of delivering the next phase of the project through community health workers as a way of enhancing its sustainability. The recommendation is made in view of the impressive experiences of using community health workers /village health teams Uganda has had for a long time

Independent endline evaluation of Lively Minds Uganda programme, 2015

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Benefits of our approach
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“The Play Scheme is an effective, low-cost, replicable model that responds to many educational, social and health challenges simultaneously…. The Play Scheme is an exciting and innovative project. It provides a solution for government in terms of reaching the hardest to reach KG children with a simple, cost-effective model that mobilises community members at little additional cost.

Independent endline evaluation of Ghana programme, 2016

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