Alufeyo Nkhoza and Strengthening Childcare

Alufeyo Nkhoza, aged 26, supports his wife and two children through fishing. He currently works at the preschool situated by Nthembo Primary School, where he attended a meeting with Temwa to discuss how the Early Childhood Development (ECD) project might benefit the community. 

Temwa’s new ECD project is an innovative three-year initiative that seeks to transform early childhood education in the region by bolstering community-operated preschools. Alufeyo has been concerned about the attendance rates of children at the preschool. When the school year started, they registered over 80 children but this number has since halved. 

He has found that parents struggle to contribute to the small fee used by the preschools for food, firewood, and transport. The preschool also lacks playing and teaching materials, eating and cooking utensils, and proper sanitation such as hand-washing basins. 

Alufeyo hopes that the ECD project will provide support with properly training volunteer teachers, ensuring that they are motivated and committed. He also hopes he will be able to deliver more effective lessons now that the children will be separated into age groups. 

“I am looking forward to the training as this will help on how I can relate with children, strengthening my skills as well as learning important skills a caregiver is expected to have.” 

In the long term, he hopes the community will mobilise to construct a permanent building for the preschool, in turn reducing the preschool’s fees which currently help cover their rented building.

There is a growing interest among communities towards early childhood development, with an increase in preschools being established in recent years. Many parents recognise the importance of early intervention in education and have tried to enrol their children in primary school early due to the lack of preschools.

The ECD project’s objective is to establish dedicated structures or buildings for all preschools. However, in these initial stages, some existing or supported preschools are operating in borrowed spaces, such as churches, which is not a sustainable solution in the long term. This becomes particularly challenging as the need for furniture and educational materials like books arises. Communities are currently exploring avenues to secure funds and materials for constructing permanent structures in the future, although this process is expected to take considerable time. 

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