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Integrated Childhood Development Community Multipliers Network

© UNICEF/DR/2007/Gonzalez

Working to support the development of boys and girls in the under-five age group.

Santo Domingo.- “We’re working with the family, for true integrated childhood development”. Reysa Asunción from Baní appears optimistic and has great hopes about the work that the recently formed Integrated Childhood Development Community Multipliers Network can do.

“With this initiative, we are contributing to improving the quality of life of boys and girls under the age of five, as well as the environmental conditions and the family in general”, said Asunción.

Over a two-day period, facilitators who had been trained for a Diploma on Roles and Responsibilities for local actors in Integrated Childhood Development met at the Manresa Altagracia Centre and discussed strategies for setting up Community Networks.

These networks will work to strengthen skills and capacities for child-rearing practices and routines, and will be accompanying the development of children in the under-five age group, within the family as well as in educational and recreational spaces.

“It’s about local networks of municipal actors working on integrated care for boys and girls, with the aim of providing solutions to the problems that could affect the correct development of these small children within the family”, said Inocencio Pichardo, a facilitator from Dajabón who took part in the workshop in which the networks were set up.

“Every network member has a mission to contribute to improving the situation of children, and we have to start working with the families. I know that this will involve hard work, but will also give us great personal satisfaction”.

Andrea González, Facilitator from La Romana
“We are not going to solve the problems within the family that affect children’s integrated development, but we will guide them, sending them to places where people who can help solve them”. Inocencio Pichardo, Facilitator from Dajabón.

People from municipalities, local authorities, community leaders, grassroots organisations, fathers and mothers and educators will work in these Networks, as well as the facilitators.

Several of the municipal actors who are involved in the formation of the networks were represented by the Municipality of Jimaní, with the participation of Jendi Pérez, who is in charge of the Childhood Department.

“I think that the Networks will bring about positive changes, because families will lose their fear of coming forward and speaking about the problems that affect them, and will know which institution or which person they need to go to in order to solve these problems, because this is also part of the problem, the lack of information and the fear of speaking out”, said Pérez.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and three universities concerned about the integrated development of Dominican children, Universidad Central del Este  (UCE), Universidad Tecnológica del Sur (UTESUR) and Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA) provided support and sponsorship for setting up these networks.

With the help of the links between the universities, UNICEF and the municipalities, a precedent is being set for the combination of integrated childhood development, working with families and setting up networks.

“This is a new process that is being implemented and which has yielded satisfactory results, because it strengthens even more capacity for response to the circumstances that might arise in all these municipalities”, they stated.

The integrated development of Dominican children is the great challenge taken on by the people who are involved, as expressed by Andrea González from La Romana: “Each member of this network has the mission of contributing to improving the situation of children…”






The network

Involves a coordinated way of working that makes use of a number of cells made up of a set of actors at municipal level (fathers/mothers, educators, grassroots community leaders and others), which is known as a local network, linked to a regional network, which in turn is part of a large national network made up of the twelve Child Friendly Municipalities.


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