Women in Aswan Feel Empowered

The Early Childhood Development (ECD) voluntary centers plays an important role in empowering women

Nourhan Maayouf
Women in Aswan Feel Empowered
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
15 October 2019

The ECD voluntary center is a model center designed by UNICEF, funded by H&MF and in partnership with Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS). It aims at providing young children with play-based learning opportunities, promoting engagement of youth and local communities in child care. The model is directly aligned with Ministry of Social Solidarity’s (MoSS) national plan for scaling up nurseries, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ vision to transform youth centers into community centers. 

The ECD voluntary centers, established inside youth centers, target children age 2-4 years old, youth volunteers, parents and caregivers in some of the most deprived communities.

The initial target is to establish 25 centers in three governorates; Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan. The centers provide ECD services through a structured play-based program for children aged 2-4 years following MOSS national curriculum, awareness programs for parents and caregivers, and a professional network with surrounding nurseries to enhance peer learning. 

Facilitators and youth volunteers are carefully selected, trained and mentored by youth centers in partnership with the Central Association for KG Supervisors League (CAKSL). In the training, they are introduced to child development stages, play-based methodology, and importance of parents and community engagement. They develop basic skills for  communication with young children, creating safe and stimulating learning environments, and conducting community awareness sessions on ECD.

This photo essay depicts five ambitious females from Aswan who have contributed in the ECD voluntary center in Aswan governorate as facilitators or volunteers. They share their dreams and state how the voluntary center has benefited them on personal and career levels.

Women in Aswan Feel Empowered
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
“My dream is to become a trainer for new facilitators” said thirty-year-old AlShymaa, one of the facilitators who work in the ECD voluntary center located in Selwa Bahary village in Kom Ombo city, Aswan governorate. In the photo, Al Shymaa is holding an educational game she has created for the children. She learnt how to make it during the training provided by UNICEF and the Central Association for KG Supervisors League (CAKSL) to the facilitators and volunteers. AlShymaa has a side passion for African languages and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree focusing on Swahili language.
Women in Aswan Feel Empowered
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
“The Early Childhood Development trainings I have received have benefited me personally in raising my son Marwan” said twenty-seven-year-old Mona, a single mother and a volunteer in the ECD voluntary center located in Selwa Bahary village in Kom Ombo city, Aswan governorate. The trainings provided to facilitators and volunteers were a major motive for Mona to join the ECD center. The practice introduced her to different children personalities as well as understanding their needs from their nonverbal behaviors such as crying.
Women in Aswan Feel Empowered
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
“I dream of establishing my own ECD center one day” said twenty-seven-year-old Eman, a volunteer in the ECD voluntary center located in Nagaa Helal, in Edfu city in Aswan governorate. Eman believes that her university major in educational games has qualified her to join the center. Her favorite part of her job is interacting with parents in the village to raise awareness about the center as well as sharing information on ECD and receiving concerns about their children.
Women in Aswan Feel Empowered
UNICEF/Egypt 2019/Nourhan Maayouf
“I feel comfortable that Nour is present with me all day” said Amal, one the facilitators who work in the ECD voluntary center located in Nagaa Helal in Edfu city, Aswan governorate. Her daughter Nour is also one of the children enrolled in the center. The presence of learning aids such as various games and puzzles and the fact that she can keep an eye on her child all day have encouraged her to enroll her daughter in the center.