Education and early childhood development

We promote positive psychosocial environments in schools and training institutions to improve education and development outcomes. We also support early childhood development, with a focus on the role of parents in the development of young children.

Programmes

Teachers’ Diploma in Psychosocial Care, Support and Protection

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Strengthening the mental health and responsive caregiving capacity

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Parental engagement through digital books project

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Supporting adolescent mothers

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Nurturing care for young children

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Social connectedness with children

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Teacher’s Diploma in Psychosocial Care, Support and Protection

REPSSI developed a Teacher’s Diploma in Psychosocial Care, Support and Protection in collaboration with MiET Africa and the Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town, as well as reviewers who are teacher trainers and Ministry of Education officials in Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Tanzania.  The Diploma is designed to support teachers to become champions for children and to work with their schools to make them safe and conducive for the learning and development of the learners.  The schools are encouraged to partner more effectively with parents, caregivers and the broader community, including developing linkages to other services which support children and youth.

Strengthening the mental health and responsive care giving capacity of mothers and other caregivers

REPSSI developed a Teacher’s Diploma in Psychosocial Care, Support and Protection in collaboration with MiET Africa and the Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town, as well as reviewers who are teacher trainers and Ministry of Education officials in Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Tanzania.  The Diploma is designed to support teachers to become champions for children and to work with their schools to make them safe and conducive for the learning and development of the learners.  The schools are encouraged to partner more effectively with parents, caregivers and the broader community, including developing linkages to other services which support children and youth.

Nurturing care for young children

The Jacob’s Foundation Prize awarded to Noreen Huni in 2018 helped REPSSI to focus on nurturing care for young children. The prize money amounting to  xxxxxxxx is helping:

  • REPSSI Eswatini to support the National Children Services Department and the Ministry of Education to develop a National Integrated and Multi-Sectoral Early Childhood Care and Development Framework and integrate psychosocial support into the Eswatini Early Learning and Development Standards.
  • REPSSI Zimbabwe to partner with Shanduko Yeupenyu Child Care in Epworth, an informal settlement area near Harare, to promote community engagement in protecting and supporting child development.

Supporting adolescent mothers

In Malawi REPSSI supported the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), funded by Global Challenges Canada to help 270 adolescent mothers to care for their children.  They met twice a month.

Evaluation of the data showed that the mothers’ psychosocial wellbeing had improved, they felt safer and the children’s age appropriate development had improved in all domains, as shown in the table below:

Children’s development Motor Cognitive Social & Emotional Language & Communication
Baseline
61.43
50.23
39.14
28.68
Endline
77.87
62.36
62.49
61.79

Parental engagement through digital books project

The proposed project delivers a digital intervention to parents with young children to promote parental sensitivity, responsiveness and mental health, and child social, emotional and cognitive development.

Outcomes: In Malawi, REPSSI supported the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), funded by Global Challenges Canada to help 270 adolescent mothers to care for their children. They had sessions on topics such as:

  • child health
  • psychosocial support
  • nutrition
  • gender-based violence
  • gender equality
  • sexual reproductive health & rights
  • HIV-testing
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • access to contraception
  • Parenting, including stimulation and development
  • Links to livelihood and school re-entry programmes
  • Engaging significant people such as spouses and other primary caregivers of infants.

Evaluation showed mothers’ psychosocial wellbeing had improved, they felt safer and children’s age appropriate development had improved in all domains

Social connectedness

REPSSI and Synergos have collaborated to work with local organisations in Eswatini and Malawi to promote social connectedness in their work with children.  Everyone needs rich connections to other people, to places and to nature, to a sense of purpose, and to an experience of power and agency.

We challenge the leaders around the world to treat the principle of belonging as a right.

From 2017-2019 REPSSI Malawi partnered with FAWEMA and the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MGCDSW) to work with 20 community-based caregivers in Lilongwe District.  Results from baseline and end line survey show about 20 per cent of the children involved in the project found improvement in all aspects of their psychosocial wellbeing.

Testimonial

Children in school have significantly higher psychosocial wellbeing that those who are not in school.

Baseline and end line survey

REPSSI Malawi

Outcomes:

REPSSI Uganda has entered into partnership with TPO to implement the social connectedness and sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) project in Kiryandongo Refugee Camp with support from Sweden and Synergos.  Preparatory work for the project has included participation in three on-site refugee camp coordination meetings; participation in the national child protection in emergencies technical working group (TWG) with partners such as TPO Uganda, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, the Prime Minister’s Office, UNICEF, UNHCR.  The programme will focus on supporting local caregivers in Kiryandongo camp to build social connectedness for adolescents that have been displaced from their homes and communities and are now trying to build new networks with other refugees and with the host community so that they are able to improve their psychosocial skills and access to SRHR.

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