At present KidzCare has built and operates four ECE programs, 2 in Bagamoyo and 2 in Kyela District in Southern Tanzania These programs cater for the children of rural communities and are in impoverished areas, providing basic medical care, a nutritious breakfast and a comprehensive early childhood education.
A Three Year Curriculum
Each ECE Program has a three year curriculum, beginning with a baby class of three to four year olds. We find that the earlier that child begins learning the quicker they learn. In the South, where Swahili is not the local language, we must first get the little ones used to hearing Swahili, and in the second and third classes, they learn through a combination of English and Swahili.
Inspired Teaching Aids
Together with a like-minded educator, KidzCare developed teaching aids which were painted directly on the walls, lasting many years and providing a colorful and inspiring classrooms. Much of the curriculum is on the walls, with low blackboards enabling the children to practice writing. This method inspires the children to participate in learning, and together with amazing teachers who bring out the best in them, they are making wonderful progress.
Breakfast is Brain Food
As many children come from very poor backgrounds and more often than not come to school hungry, KidzCare provides a healthy porridge at 9 a.m. While school begins with a rousing assembly, huge pots of porridge are prepared and cooled for the children. During the cold and wet season, school begins an hour later and the children come straight to school to a nice hot porridge, which makes getting out of bed more enticing.
Keeping the Children Healthy
Basic health care, including a ‘Worm and Weigh’ program which takes place three times a year, enables us to monitor the children’s health. As some of the areas we work in have a high prevalence of HIV infection, in communication with the parents and guardians of the children, and after careful seminars by trained personnel, most of our children have been tested for HIV. Additionally, in the Kyela district we have sponsored 50% of the payment for a village medical plan for each child in our program, which enables them to get treatment for free at the local hospital.