Any project we undertake begins with the villagers. There are many meetings, many opinions, and everyone has something to contribute. This collaborative approach ensures ownership of the project by those for whom it is intended to benefit and leads to project sustainability.
HopeFirst Foundation is currently seeking donations to build two early childhood development centers in the villages of Munyegen and Sabba. Each village has donated a building that can be used for the center, and each will receive funds to develop a garden and a poultry farm.
The need to address the poor standard of education and the standard of living among children and their families is obvious but made difficult by the lack of effective learning environments for children and the lack of access to quality of life. The communities of Sabba and Munyegen, with the assistance of donations provided through HopeFirst Foundation, would like to embark on the development of sustainable, income generating projects. Projects that improve livelihood for all play a vital role in the success of children. We believe the Early Childhood Development Center is the perfect project to tackle these issues.
The three main long-term benefits of early childhood development programs are:
- enhanced school readiness, enrollment and completion
- later age of motherhood for young women, hence, a reduced birth rate
- improved family situations, including empowerment of women
If girls are in an organized daycare program from a young age, they are better positioned to start primary school on time, rather than staying at home to care for younger siblings.
Land for a garden has been donated by the community of Saaba. Sandy and Barbara visited a garden in a nearby community where such a project is succeeding.
Self reliance is the ultimate goal. Money earned from the poultry and garden enterprises will be used to support the Early Childhood Development Centers. Eventual profits will be used for micro-lending to villagers to start other small businesses.
What if the gardens are eaten by lucusts or the chickens die from disease? Enter goat insurance. When each child enters the Early Childhood Development Center, s/he is given a goat donated by ANPAS, an Italian non-governmental organization (NGO). If a family cannot find the resources to pay for the child's education, they can sell a goat. The idea is that the original goat has procreated and the family has multiple goats.
A donation toward this project will help a child get the start in life they deserve, supported by a family/community run enterprise.