Four year old Adom is in the Sunflower class at the Railways Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre in Accra, Ghana. His father is a porter at the tomatoes market and his mother sells sachet water. Run by our local partner S.Aid the Railways nursery provides marginalised children the chance to be in a safe, loving environment and get pre-school education. Thanks to quality education and nutritious meals, these children have a better chance to access primary school and break the cycle of poverty later in life.
Since starting at Railways last year Adom has barely missed a day. However, when the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ghana in March, all schools were forced to close, including the ECD centres. This left children like Adom without a safe space and unable to access the educational support or nutritious meals that Railways provided for him. With the closure of the centre Adom’s father was taking him to the tomato market where he works as a Porter and tried to keep an eye on him while going about his work. Although the government was providing e-learning opportunities on the televisions, Adom was unable to access this as his family do not have access to a TV. Instead Adom was spending his days playing around the busy market and his father was very worried that Adom was no longer learning.
Unfortunately, Adom was not alone, many of the children who had attended Railways were without access to any education during this period.
That’s where your support through our COVID-19 Response Fund stepped in. After discussions with the parents of several children who would normally attended the centres, S.Aid were able to establish an outreach programme, supporting children to continue to access learning whilst at home.
ECD centre staff have been visiting children in their homes to ensure they can keep learning
From June to August, a total of 13 staff from both ECD centres set out to reach each child twice week to engage them in numeracy and language activities. Over 120 children took part in activities ranging from storytelling, tracing, counting and number identification. Staff were also able to organise three group meetings were also held with mothers whose children were participating in the programme. During the meetings, parents were able to provide feedback which helped to further adjust the teaching schedules and to include the provision of additional plastic files for the mothers to keep their children’s work.
During the first home visits Adom was very happy to see his teacher in his house! From the first visit it was clear that Adom hadn’t been able to keep up with his learning. However, through regular visits and encouragement from his teacher, Adom has picked up once again and he is able to identify alphabets, write his name, count and write numbers!
Thank you so much for helping children like Adom continue their education throughout this period.