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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - Dubai Cares launches two new programs in Comoros and The Gambia

Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has announced the launch of two 11 July 2018

Dubai Cares launches two new programs in Comoros and The Gambia

Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has announced the launch of two new programs that will tackle children’s developmental readiness in both Comoros and The Gambia, with an additional focus on parenting education in The Gambia for 0 to 3 year old children.

Commenting on the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Comoros and The Gambia, Annina Mattsson, Programs Director at Dubai Cares said: “Early learning and pre-school education provide an initial but critically important opportunity to impact children’s future psychosocial and cognitive development, physical growth and health. Moreover, positive parenting practices - including the provision of appropriate health, nutrition, care and early stimulation - are critical for the holistic development of children. Positive parenting practices greatly enhance children’s brain development especially during the first 1,000 days of life. Our two new programs in Comoros and The Gambia, aim to impact young children and parents by improving pre-school and primary education and enhancing parenting practices for Early Childhood Development.”

In Comoros, Dubai Cares in partnership with the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is rolling out an AED 7,347,000 (USD 2,000,000) 4 year program that aims to improve the school readiness of children in order to start primary school on time and enhance lower primary school girls’ and boys’ learning outcomes and retention rates. In addition, the program aims to develop and disseminate pre-primary standards and procedures for the adoption of an enhanced ECD curriculum, improve the classroom environment for 4 and 5 year old children, provide teaching and learning materials to teachers and children in pre-primary and primary schools, consolidate the teacher training curriculum for pre-primary grades, as well as raise awareness around community-based schools - an innovative pre-school model that combines essential pre-school competency building for school readiness with a distinct model of teaching unique to Comoros. The program is set to benefit at least 269,382 children and 1,725 teachers, school head teachers and inspectors across all the 394 primary schools in the Comoros Islands.

Oustadh Charif, Head Master of a primary school benefiting from the program in Comoros said: “Through Dubai Cares’ program, children are now more motivated to learn with stories that relate to their life thanks to the new school books with local content related to Comoros. Children hear names and stories that they know and situations that are familiar to them. They are curious and eager to know more.”

In The Gambia, Dubai Cares has also partnered with UNICEF to improve parenting knowledge and practice so that parents can better nurture the development of young children between the age of 0 and 3 years in protected environments and ensure that their health and educational needs are being met. The AED 1,836,750 (USD 500,000) program also seeks to create awareness around the rights of young children, responsibilities of parents in delivering on those rights as well as documenting and replicating good practices. The program is set to benefit 1,200 young parents who will acquire improved knowledge and awareness about children’s right to education, health, nutrition, early stimulation and protection to enable them to provide a more holistic and nurturing environment to their children. In addition, the program aims to benefit around 1,500 children by providing them with access to improved out-door play facilities for psychomotor and social development.

Nuha Jatta, Education Specialist from UNICEF in The Gambia said: “We believe the program will reach hundreds of parents to boost their parenting skills that will stimulate their children’s cognitive development and growth, and increase demand for Early Childhood Development services. We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Dubai Cares in accelerating results for children.”