Enola Kammanga and Bringing Communities Together for Early Childhood Development

Enola Kammanga, aged 50, works as a committee secretary of Kabanda Early Childhood Development (ECD) where she supervises the caregivers, and feeding programs, collects contributions, and supports resource mobilisation. 

Temwa’s new 3-year ECD project supports villages to set up and run 30 community-led preschools. As part of the project, the feeding program provides a daily nutritious meal to children so that they are sufficiently nourished in order to learn. 

The majority of primary school students in Nkhata Bay North lack access to formal education until the age of 6. Temwa’s previous Community Literacy Education Project revealed that this gap results in children entering primary school ill-prepared, with limited literacy and numeracy skills. Consequently, they often struggle to engage with the curriculum, leading to high dropout rates. This disparity disproportionately affects young girls, whose education is frequently deprioritised, leading them to abandon school to assist with household chores. 

Government investment in ECD is minimal, with less than 1% of the national budget allocated to support it in 2021-2022. Privately owned preschools are prohibitively expensive for most community members, the majority of whom live below the poverty line. Additionally, existing community-run preschools in the area suffer from inadequate resources despite the efforts of community members like Enola. 

Since the feeding program started, Enola has seen school attendance rise from 33 to 42 students. She also noticed immense growth in the way the children interact and an improvement in their memory.

“I have a grandchild who is benefitting from the ECD when we go home, he is able to speak English to me, recite the alphabet letters, count numbers and even able to identify colours.”

There has also been a huge improvement in parent involvement. Parents now recognise the importance of early intervention in education and can send their children to preschool without worrying about the cost of learning materials. 

In the coming months, she hopes the community will work together to help with the construction of the new ECD building. This will lower the cost of preschool fees by cutting rent. 

We are already supporting setting up thirteen preschools, five of which are newly established and eight were already existing but needed a large amount of support. This has hugely exceeded our expectations of five preschools fully operating in the first year. The project is proving incredibly popular among community members like Enola, who are seeing the vital impact of early childhood education.

Read more about the ECD project in our latest report here.

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