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Rwanda, 8 March 2017: UNICEF Ireland and Aer Lingus visit inaugurate the first Early Childhood Development Centre in Ngororero District

© UNICEF Rwanda/2017/Nkinzingabo
Representatives from UNICEF, Aer Lingus and UNICEF Ireland joined the Vice Mayor of Ngororero District to inaugurate the new ECD centre.

 
NGORORERO District – UNICEF Rwanda was joined by the delegation from UNICEF Ireland and Aer Lingus to inaugurate the first early childhood development (ECD) centre in Ngororero District. The Irish delegation was joined by a representative from Imbuto Foundation and Mr Janvier Kuradusenge, the Vice Mayor of Ngororero District in charge of social affairs. One of the Aer Lingus staff spoke at the event, expressing their enthusiasm for attending the special opening. “On behalf of the cabin crew at Aer Lingus, we are so happy to see this ECD centre completed for your families and children,” they told the assembled community.

Greeted by an enthusiastic troupe of local dancers, the Irish delegation toured the new centre, which will officially open for enrolment next month. Constructed by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the centre will provide early ECD services for up to 120 children aged 0-6 years, and will serve as a community hub for parents to attend classes on positive parenting, literacy and numeracy, and proper ECD at home.

Speaking at the inauguration event, Freya Declercq of Imbuto Foundation reminded the community that “these children are not only your children, but children of the whole country. You must look after this centre and mobilize the whole population to understand the importance of early childhood development.”

Mr. Kuradusenge thanked all for attending and expressed his appreciation for the support of the Irish delegation. “It is our responsibility to maintain these services for our children,” he said. “We will do whatever it takes for the activities at this centre to be well-implemented.”

Following a tour of the new ECD centre, the Irish delegation observed a community mobilization session, facilitated by Mr. Ildephonse Hitimana of Imbuto Foundation, the implementing partner of the ECD programme. During this session, parents participated in a lesson and active discussion on the importance of early stimulation for a child’s optimal growth and development.
 

© UNICEF Rwanda/2017/Nkinzingabo
Dozens of families and children joined Aer Lingus and UNICEF Ireland to celebrate the new ECD centre.

 
Michael Banda, Chief of ECD at UNICEF Rwanda, further emphasized the importance of ECD when he addressed the community. “It has been proven that the early years of a child’s life quite literally presents the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.

It is largely due to the contribution from UNICEF Ireland and Aer Lingus that access to ECD services has become a reality for the children and families of Ngororero District.

 

 
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