UNICEF and Alaverdi community join efforts for inclusive learning from an early age
UNICEF signed a cooperation agreement with Lori Governor’s Office and Alaverdi community
On April 30, UNICEF Representative in Armenia Tanja Radocaj signed a cooperation agreement with the Governor of Lori region Andrey Ghukasyan and the Head of Alaverdi consolidated community Sasun Khechumyan. Partners agreed to join efforts in programming for children in the areas of education, social protection, and disaster risk reduction.
“Investing in young children is one of the best investments that countries can make. Early childhood offers a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to shape a child’s ability to learn, grow and contribute fully to her society. Every child, including children with disabilities, should be able to benefit from this opportunity and every family should have access to supportive services within their own community,” said UNICEF Representative Tanja Radocaj.
In 2019-2020, UNICEF will support the consolidated community in Alaverdi to expand early learning services for children with and without disabilities. Partners will partially renovate the kindergarten #6 so that it becomes accessible for children with disabilities. The kindergarten will also be refurbished and provided with necessary learning materials for children. At the same time UNICEF will train the parents and caregivers in the community, including kindergarten staff, to enhance their skills in working with children with and without disabilities.
The Alaverdi kindergarten will become a resource center for three new alternative preschool centers that UNICEF will establish in the small settlements of Jiliza, Tsakhkashat and Kachachkut in Alaverdi. Children in these three settlements are deprived of early learning opportunities which hampers their development and school readiness. The new centers will welcome children of three to six years of age and engage them in activities that inspire learning and brain development.
“Investing in services so that every child, regardless of abilities, and every family has the opportunity to benefit, is a shared responsibility. We are pleased to join forces with UNICEF and will work together to improve targeting of social programmes in the region,” said Lori governor Andrey Ghukasyan.
From 2019 to 2020, UNICEF and Alaverdi community will also work together to strengthen the safety in all schools and preschools through introducing the safety risk management methodology. Partners will first assess the seismic safety in all school buildings, which will inform the local government about all vulnerabilities of school buildings. UNICEF will then support the schools to set up Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) teams who will develop the DRR plans for their schools. Each school will be supported to improve DRR and resilience teaching through training of teachers, learning materials and equipment for specific needs. The schools will also be supported to practice evacuation drills on a regular basis.