what we do & why
We work to improve the education and care given to pre-school children in highly deprived communities in Ghana and Uganda. We do this, working through government, by training and empowering Mothers to run educational Play Schemes that give young children a better start in life and better chances for the future.
We do not provide aid. We believe that people can only break the cycle of poverty if they are given the information, skills, and confidence to make changes themselves. The solutions don’t need to be complicated or expensive. We find creative, low-cost and practical ways, using local resources, to bring about lasting change.
Working through government, we train and empower uneducated & marginalised Mothers to run educational Play Schemes for all the pre-schoolers in their community, and to provide better care at home. Health and hygiene activities are incorporated to improve health. The Play Schemes allow young children to learn by playing with a variety of games that strengthen their cognitive, language, socio-emotional development and their health, so that they are more school-ready.
To continue to upskill the Mothers and help them provide holistic care, they are given monthly workshops on parenting, health and lifeskills topics.
The Mothers run the Schemes on a purely voluntary basis using games made from local materials. This means that the materials and people-power are readily available and the Schemes can be delivered in resource-poor communities and sustained at low-cost.
These Mums are some of the most vulnerable women in the world. Most have never before had any education or employment. Participating in the project benefits them too by transforming them into change-makers and giving them the confidence, vision and skills to change their lives, and their children’s, for the better.
Children who receive quality care & education in their early years are proven to be healthier, do better & stay longer in school, and have better economic trajectories in adult life.
But in the remote communities where we work, where most families live on less than US$2 per day, children do not get these vital opportunities.
There are no public pre-schools in Uganda, and in Ghana kindergarten quality in these settings is very low.
An ever bigger barrier to ECD and the most pressing need is that most parents in rural communities are uneducated and lack the information, skills and aspiration to provide their children with simple and affordable opportunities to nurture their development. As poverty is all they’ve known they have low aspirations for themselves and their children.
These challenges lead to poor health, poor education, lost life opportunities and poverty.
There are over 250 million children worldwide, the majority of whom are situated in hard to reach rural communities, who are destined for a life of under-achievement and poverty because they do not receive adequate ECD opportunities. We believe our programme has the potential to help tackle this crisis as it provides a sustainable, scalable and cost-effective way to bring high quality ECD support to hardest-to-reach, resource-poor communities who need it most.
Our long-term vision is for the Governments of Ghana and Uganda to mainstream the programme in to the Kindergarten and Village Health Team systems respectively.
Over the next few years we will work with government to open and support over 300 new Play Schemes so that we saturate districts, and build visibility and demand for the programme. During this time we will test and optimise handover strategies and strenghten government capacity to implement and sustain this programme using their existing resources. Finally, we will build the case for government adoption through robust evaluation and advocacy.