Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sharing is Caring

When you are a caring person, you should share your skills, positive attitudes, emotions, and physical resources with each other.  Its one of the major human characteristics, that when we want to care about someone, we share our learning and resources.  
In a similar ways, the early age of children’s life is critical in teaching children to develop their caring and sharing attitudes. Therefore, the following small tips need to be considered by parents and caregivers;
·        Avoid controlling behavior so children can explore their surroundings, e.g. touch, feel, think, observe, and practice to differentiate between good and bad themselves   
·        Allow children to have access to their requirements so they know what they have and what need. What to share with friends, siblings and family members and also what and how to borrow from them in a graceful manner
·         Let children play with siblings and friends to develop friendships  so they can enhance their sharing and caring skills  

Sharing own belongings demonstrates the positive attitudes of children towards others, whom they care.  It’s a two way process. So parents and caregivers need to encourage their children to share their belongings with others and borrow from them in a nice way. It will enable children to learn social skills and social skills come with good nurturing in a sharing and caring environment. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cultural Integration in ECD

Tradition and cultural valuaes are heavily embeded in developing countries because they have praticed those traditional norms, values and cultural believes for centuries. Therefore, they feel ownered if any insitution or National/ International Non Proffit Organizations (N/INGOs) tries to incorporate those norms into thier programs.
In order, to be a successful Early Chilhood Development (ECD) inatiators, one might need to follow the following simple but important guidelines;
1- Carryout a needs assement task to understand the contexual needs and trational or cultural practice before iniating the program
2- Reflect on those needs and try to link those cultural valuaes and practices with the ECD plans to make the content more contextual pratice based
3- Demosntrate creativity in incorpurating the cultural practices in the new generation to win the local hearts
4- Always refelct back on its constructive and areas for improvement to have an action research cyclical approach
5- Document and keep records in wrriting, phtographs and videos
6- Publish simple success stories and make fliers to share with visitors, parents and local communities
7- Particiapte in national and international conferences to share information with bigger audience for a professional eye view to refine the program
When this happens, the ECD program would be more specific, focused, relevant according to the contextual needs and cultural values. it will enable the local communties to particpate in the program. Moreover, it will create an acceptance within the local communities. Ultimately, it will make the foundation of ECD stronger and powerful for the change process in the next generation.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Parents’ Dream for Kids

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.” 
Harry Edwards).

Parents, whether they are educated or least educated, they dream something positive about their children’s future. So keeping that ambitious motivation, National and International Organizations (I/NGOs) needs to work closely with parents according to their situation, language and culture. They need to come down to the earth to support the parents.    
The rural women who cannot communicate the language or express their feelings, they can be facilitated in the following way;
<         ·  Meet the parents with a smiling face
<         ·  Talk about informal things e.g. weather, environment, vegetables etc to develop their confidence
<         ·    When you ask question or give any instruction to do something, give them any relevant example because that will allow them to reflect on their experiences
<         ·   Ask open ended questions so they can share their ideas or perspectives
<         ·    Give them wait time to respond
<         ·    If they find any difficulty in understanding the idea or the concept, sit with them and explain in a simple language
<         ·  Be a critical friend, rather than a boss
When parents realize something is helpful for their kids, they work and assist their kids to think and act to fulfill their dreams. Therefore, the approach should be leading and facilitating parents effectively so they can facilitate and teach their kids to dream with open eyes for their future.   

Thursday, August 15, 2013

ECD & family Connectivity

When we think of children, their good qualities always come to our mind. For instance, they are incredible, delightful, intellectual, assertive, fair, deserving, supportive, competitive, bold, energetic, loved, humorous and persistent etc.   Their qualities become a gravitational force to connect to the family emotionally, socially, morally, and intellectually as a family.

However, the Early childhood Development (ECD) program becomes more determined in strengthening the emotional connectivity as a family. For example, playing with toys and reading books together in their broken language and sharing new vocabularies in a different language (Urdu, English or any other national language) creates a new journey to their learning.  This new experience plays a huge role to bond, get an attachment and connect to each other as a family. Therefore, its important for caregivers and parents to engage the whole family in the learning process with their children because it will connect them more that will enable children to gain confidence, trust their families, share and care for each other. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Indigenous Knowledge and Creativity

Indigenous (local or traditional) knowledge is a very significant part of human life. The national and international NGOs (Non Profit Organizations) become successful, when they connect the external knowledge into the local culture or vise versa.  
Our experiences remained an exemplary, when grandparents were interviewed regarding their best practices of making toys for their children in their times as Mothers. Their stories were recorded in writing and making videos. Based on those stories, few individual volunteers were engaged in drawing images of those stories.  Later on those images were enlarged on big charts, with captions of the stories and were displayed in the corridor.
The benefit of that experience was as following;

  • ·    Attracted local communities so they felt honored
  • ·    Attracted visitors in understanding the local culture 
  • ·     Enhanced interest of children, who had heard those stories and had seen the tools at homes.
  •     Developed staff members’ interest in demonstrating creativity
  •     Enriched the curriculum of Early Childhood Education (ECD) according to the local contexts and needs.

Keeping these experiences in view, we would like to recommend the INGOs, working in the rural or urban contexts of any country, it would be marvelous to incorporate the indigenous knowledge into the ECD curriculum and demonstrate their creativity. It’s a fun, creative, relevant and an authentic approach towards quality and sustainability of any ECD program.