Monday, June 30, 2014

It takes a village to raise a child!

Dear Friends,

It has been quite a while since I personally wrote something on the blog. It has been a very busy season for myself and certainly for the entire team. The team in the past 6 months has grown, we have moved to new offices and have grown our portfolio of projects that are designed to provide holistic support to the children we serve in Mashonaland East. With growth comes various opportunities and challenges and also this comes with a greater level of diligence as we engage with various ones in ensuring that we provide the best service to the little children we reach out to.

Nhaka Foundation has been able to live up to its mission of ensuring that the littlest and most vulnerable children receive the utmost care and programs that support their holistic wellbeing and development. How have we done it? We have been able to engage partners who have funded us to carry out awareness raising campaigns in various communities on the importance of early access to education, importance of regular health checks, importance of a balanced diet for the children, homeschool relationships as well as importance of parental involvement in the lives of children right from the early years. We are optimistic that with this level of community engagement, there is going to be increased enrolment of children at ECD centres, there is going to be increased parental involvement in the lives of children and thus promote guidance socio cultural aspects that are necessary also to stimulate the growth of children. Coupled with these aspects we have also been engaging with community stakeholders, providing information, statistics and evidence of the importance of ECD. There has been an apparent lack of knowledge and clear information on various aspects relating to ECD and thus Nhaka Foundation has been holding community stakeholder meetings, key stakeholder meetings, high level meetings with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education officials and with other non state actors. These meetings have been also driven by the African proverb that says "it takes a village to raise a child" Thus everyone has a role to play in creating an enabling environment for children to grow and have great lives.

Another passion and area of interest that has been in one corner of my heart has been the issue of inclusion. That is working with children with special needs/disabled/challenged in one way or the other. Africa and indeed Zimbabwe is fraught with stories of disabled children who are locked away in granaries or food storehouses or children who are hidden from mainstream society because of the various challenges that may present themselves in the physical or mentally. Nhaka Foundation is very soon going to be launching programming specifically aimed at working with these children and their families to ensure that they too have access to play and learning opportunities. They are no different and they need the same access to such.

I will be back with more news and insights into what God has been doing in my life and through me to reach other lives and communities.

Be blessed,