We improve parenting practices and child health by giving parents much-needed information so they can provide better care & stimulation for their children and find cheap practical ways to make changes using local materials.
Improving child care
We've seen dramatic improvements in the frequency of play and stimulating activities provided by mothers at home.
We provide the mothers who run the Play Schemes with monthly capacity-building workshops. Our syllabus includes parenting topics (communication, playing at home, make-believe), health care (nutrition, malaria prevention, home hygiene) and life-skills (wellbeing, financial management, time management).
Each activity is carefully designed using behaviour-change principles to help the mothers recognise the importance of changing their practices and gives them practical ways to take action using local materials. These activities act as a powerful incentive to keep the mothers committed to volunteering at the Play Schemes. As each mother has an average of five children of their own, these activities also benefit these additional children.
All our communities have reported a reduction in diarrhoea in their families.
Water-related diseases, particularly diarrheal diseases arising from poor sanitation and hygiene practices are common in the areas where we work.
Studies have shown that handwashing is one of the most effective means of preventing diarrheal diseases, along with safe stool disposal and safe and adequate household water supply. Handwashing with soap and water can reduce diarrheal diseases by 35% or more but is not always widely practised.
The children wash their hands with soap/ash at the start of each Play Scheme session. This is designed to habituate children and the mothers to this vital practice, by associating it with an enjoyable activity.
Mothers are trained in the importance of handwashing and each household is given the materials to make a “tippy tap” that they can use at home.