By Loraine Anyango
Concepts of Naturing and Care for Early Child Hood Development (ECDE) in Kisumu County are being disseminated to the grassroots levels through the ‘KUWA KOCHA’ campaign.
The campaign draws its backing from a common understanding that it takes a village to raise a child and calls everyone to be a coach to all the children around everywhere and anywhere.
The campaign will encourage the adoption of desired childcare practices for children aged Zero to eight years by everyone who interacts with a child, they act as their coach.
‘KUWA KOCHA’ campaign has a Swahili sig-tune rallying mothers, fathers, extended family members, neighbours, and teachers, among others to be coaches to children hence ensuring the well-being of every child.
It also has radio spots in both Swahili and luo languages calling the entire community to corporately coach the young ones. It has social media posters as well as booklets to aid in disseminating accurate information.
The campaign messages will also be shared through WhatsApp to aid a wide reach with the aim of converting all and Sunday to be coaches.
The Department of Medical Services, Public Health, and Sanitation brought together Multi-Sectorial Frontline Service Providers on nurture care for three days equipping them with campaign messages on Nature and Care for ECDE.
The campaign is designed to aid effective communication by incorporating key messages on optimal childcare practices to primary and secondary caregivers of children aged zero to eight years. The communication is carried by mothers, fathers, teachers, and religious leaders among others.
Nurturing Care has to do with conditions that enable communities, parents, and caregivers to ensure children in the targeted age group develop optimally to achieve their full potential.
This is by ensuring they have good health, adequate nutrition and that they grow up in a safe and secure environment, and that they have responsive caregivers who stimulate them through play and regular interaction.
Nurturing Care for ECD is important as recent studies have finding that indicates that early childhood years are critical for determining future development and potential to thrive.
It’s the time when brain development is most rapid. The child’s stage for physical, and mental health and lifelong wellness are determined here.
Following the training that is domiciled in social behavior change, ‘KUWA KOCHA’ will be launched in the County through multiple communication channels including a radio campaign, social media avenues, and key social influencers.
“These resources are ours, use them to make a change in our spheres of influence.” Ms Rehema Muniu of Spring Board Communication Consultancy said while disseminating the resources.
The participants were selected from different departments and cadres including nutritionists, nurses, clinical officers, lay volunteer counselors, social protection officers, community health assistants, children’s officers, program officers from relevant NGOs, FBOs & CBOs, ECDE ECD teachers, leaders from religious institutions (Christian, Muslim), community, Human resources officer as well as social media influencers.
‘KUWA KOCHA’ campaign is being implemented by Springboard Communication Consultants in Kisumu and Garissa through support from UNICEF.