For Every Child – An Education: a story from the field

A story about how UNICEF supported education programmes, help children through play-based learning.

Simon Mosleh
Child smiling during AVSI ECE.
Simon Mosleh

02 October 2019

Working at UNICEF for the past 18 months has proved a constructive experience. Being part of the Communication Team exposed me, firsthand, to how successful media campaigns and strong messaging can deliver a positive impact on communities, partners and eventually children.

While I usually work fulltime in UNICEF Lebanon country office, last month I went on my first field visit to witness children learning through a UNICEF-funded education programme. The experience highlighted to just how accurately UNICEF’s ECE programme meets these childrens’ needs.

Early Childhood Education (ECE) is a learning package focused on providing structured play and learning opportunities – it is designed to improve the quality and access to education for children aged between 3 and 5 years old.

Funded jointly by the Governments of Canada and Australia and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), with the support of UNICEF Lebanon the AVSI Foundation implements the ECE programme and builds the capacities of children through engaging, interactive and creative approaches. Within the programme, children learn how to read, write, and also work with numbers.   

Rouba, learns about the number 7 through a variety of interactive games.
Simon Mosleh
Modeling clay was used to sculpt the letters, bringing out the creativity of the children.
Simon Mosleh

Rouba, learns about the number 7 through a variety of interactive games. She counts balls of a specific color, and she also counts the perforated holes on a piece of paper; both leading her to the number seven.

The alphabet was also taught through an inventive approach. Modeling clay was used to sculpt the letters, bringing out the creativity of the children. This method encourages play-based learning and allows children to understand the three-dimensional aspect of everything around them. The fun part is that, when working with a lump of clay, the child can form and feel the letters!

Modeling clay was used to sculpt the letters, bringing out the creativity of the children.
Simon Mosleh
Modeling clay was used to sculpt the letters, bringing out the creativity of the children.
Simon Mosleh

Importantly, the programme supports all children while considering their diverse needs. Iman, a 5-year-old little girl, has showed tremendous improvement while being enrolled in the ECE programme. Now capable of forming a full sentence with ease, she engages enthusiastically with her teachers and friends. Her teacher also mentioned to me that she smiles more frequently and is much more comfortable around her classmates. 

Here are a few more pictures full of a child’s love... 

Girl smiling in classroom.
Simon Mosleh
Happy boy in classroom.
Simon Mosleh

My day at the school passed swiftly, and the impact of the programme on the children’s’ lives was apparent in all aspects of their development. With ECE they have a platform through which to express themselves, to make new friends and, most importantly, reclaim their education and prepare for a positive future.

The visit continued and, in the afternoon, we met one very particular child enrolled in a different programme. Her name is Bayan, and we’ll cover her story next week! Stay tuned.