Dubai: Dubai Cares, part of Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has launched two child development programmes in the Comoros Islands and Gambia.
In Gambia, there will be an additional programme on parenting for parents of children up to three years of age.
In Comoros, Dubai Cares in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) is rolling out a Dh7,347,000 four-year programme that aims to improve the school readiness of children in order to start primary school on time and enhance lower primary school girls’ and boys’ learning outcomes and retention rates. The programme is set to benefit at least 269,382 children and 1,725 teachers, school head teachers and inspectors across all the 394 primary schools in the islands.
In Gambia, Dubai Cares has partnered with Unicef to improve parenting knowledge and practices. The Dh1,836,750 programme also seeks to create awareness about child rights, responsibilities of parents in delivering on those rights as well as documenting and replicating good practices. The programme is set to benefit 1,200 young parents who will be taught about education, health, nutrition, early stimulation and protection to enable them to provide a more holistic and nurturing environment to their children. In addition, the programme aims to benefit around 1,500 children by providing them with access to improved out-door play facilities for psychomotor and social development.
Annina Mattsson, programmes director at Dubai Cares, said: “Early learning and pre-school education provide an initial but critically important opportunity to impact children’s future psychosocial and cognitive development, physical growth and health. Moreover, positive parenting practices, including the provision of appropriate health, nutrition, care and early stimulation, are critical for the holistic development of children. Positive parenting practices greatly enhance children’s brain development especially during the first 1,000 days of life. Our two new programmes in Comoros and Gambia, aim to impact young children and parents by improving pre-school and primary education and enhancing parenting practices for Early Childhood Development.”
Oustadh Charif, head master of a primary school benefiting from the programme in Comoros, said: “Through Dubai Cares’ programme, children are now more motivated to learn with stories that relate to their life thanks to the new school books with local content related to Comoros. Children hear names and stories that they know and situations that are familiar to them. They are curious and eager to know more.”
Nuha Jatta, education specialist from Unicef in Gambia, said: “We believe the programme will reach hundreds of parents to boost their parenting skills that will stimulate their children’s cognitive development and growth, and increase demand for Early Childhood Development services. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Dubai Cares in accelerating results for children.”