THE DO More Foundation, which had been founded by RCl Foods outside Malalane, with designated partners are implementing an Early Childhood Development programme in Nkomazi.
This initiative which had been rolled out in Wards 16 and 19 in Nkomazi would promote access to quality services to meet young children’s developmental rights and needs.
The Portfolio Manager from the Foundation, Jabu Mthembu-Dlamini, said the LNYCB initiative would allow children to access a range of much needed services more efficiently and quickly. “Due to the success of the collaborative model and the impact it has on young children in Nkomazi, the Foundation and local stakeholders are currently scaling this model to reach 12 additional villages and 35 more ECD Centres in Nkomazi, bringing the total footprint to 19 villages and 60 ECD Centres,” she said.
These services include maternal and child health, early Learning stimulation, parental and caregiver support, early intervention services for child protection, infrastructure, as well as collaboration and partnerships. All these had been guided by an MOU signed by three Mpumalanga Provincial Departments mandated to implement ECD.
“The Leave No Young Child Behind initiative aims to drive significant improvement in the wellbeing of young children in Nkomazi, particularly wards 16 and 19 where the majority of young children have not been accessing essential ECD services or realising their rights and needs making it unlikely that they will ever reach their potential and escape the poverty cycle,” Mthembu-Dlamini said.
The Initiative seeks to change this by mobilising stakeholders from inside and outside the community and facilitating universal access to a comprehensive package of quality services to meet young children’s developmental needs in line with the National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy. This was approved by Cabinet in December 2015.
“This is of critical importance since both wards have been identified by the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme as poverty sites needing urgent intervention. In order to change the situation for young children in this area, we have embarked on a multi-stakeholder collaborative process,” Mthembu-Dlamini concluded.