UNICEF Guyana donates 100 Early Childhood Development Kits to Human Services Ministry
40,000 children across Guyana to benefit
Georgetown, Guyana, August 4, 2023): Forty thousand children under four years along with twenty thousand parents/caregivers in Guyana, will soon benefit from quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes and family support services, as UNICEF Guyana has donated 100 ECD kits to the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security (MOHSS).
This was announced by UNICEF Area Representative for Guyana and Suriname, Nicolas Pron during a simple handover ceremony held at the Children and Family Center in Sophia Georgetown. According to Mr. Pron, the initiative, funded by the Canadian government, is an ongoing effort to promote safe and healthy learning and living environment to migrant and host communities in Guyana’s hinterland and selected coastal areas. Each kit includes a wide range of resources to encourage playing, storytelling, numeracy and include materials for caregivers, inclusive of water and sanitation items for improved health and awareness of children. Each kit is complimented with an activity guide.
“Early childhood development is a fundamental right of every child. The first 1,000 days are the most delicate period for physical growth and brain development for girls and boys. As children thrive, entire communities grow, and a more sustainable and peaceful future is possible,” said Pron.
Minister of MOHSS, Dr. Vindhya Persaud who received the donation expressed profound gratitude to the Canadian government and UNICEF Guyana for their contribution and longstanding support to children and youths in Guyana.
She highlighted that ECD kits will go a long way in supporting children as it will be integrated in the ministry’s early childhood development day and night care programme.
“Because early childhood development is so important, we thought it fitting to meld it with the care programme of the MOHSS introducing the new concept of night care…and these kits will be very useful because children will be in that environment for much of the day,” the Minister said.
“With the kits, comes the need for training and we have started that process with UNICEF. The team from MOHSS have been in the necessary meetings and trainings to develop the kind of curriculum we want to have within our [ECD] centres across the country,” she added.
The MOHSS Minister also highlighted that some of the ECD kits will be utilised at a newly constructed Children’s Shelter in Region one. “The shelter is almost completed, and we look forward to commissioning it very soon and those kits will be well utilised there as well.”
Also present at the event was High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana, His Excellency Mark Berman who expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Human Services and UNICEF for its partnership on the ECD project.
Berman said, “Through this partnership, we are working to build community, childcare and education services and facilities in an effort to ensure those facing increased vulnerabilities do not fall further behind in recovering from the pandemic.”
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.