Transforming Lives: the Early Childhood Development Initiative
The ‘Early Childhood Development Initiative’ is helping to transform the lives of highly vulnerable children in East Timor by providing access to high quality preschool education.
The project’s goal is to provide East Timorese children with access to safe, supportive learning environments in order to build strong foundations for their futures. To achieve this goal a preschool has been established in Dili; staffed by international and East Timorese early childhood professionals, the preschool is of international standard. Children from low-income disadvantaged families are sponsored through Ba Futuru to attend the preschool. As a model of excellence the preschool is also used as a mentoring classroom to equip East Timorese educators with valuable childcare skills; to date over 150 early childhood professionals from across Timor Leste have been trained and many of them have also been mentored at the preschool.
This initiative is therefore benefiting children throughout Timor-Leste at the grassroots level. In East Timor little emphasis is placed upon the critical early childhood stage of development, and less than 10% of children receive any type of early childhood education. In this post-conflict context trauma is common and often leads to displays of violent behaviour, including child abuse. Witnessing and experiencing these behaviours harms the cognitive development of children and significantly affects their learning. Consequently, children often have difficulty regulating their emotions and behaving in a socially appropriate manner.
For these vulnerable children receiving quality pre-schooling at this important stage of their development is therefore an essential aid for:
- Being socially, emotionally and mentally prepared for formal schooling
- Learning and practicing healthy coping strategies
- Gaining self-esteem and self-confidence
- Building resilience and protective factors
- Being exposed to positive role models and positive peer relationships
- Flagging and responding to additional needs.
These valuable self-sustaining outcomes will travel with these at-risk children throughout their lives; as a result this project is an essential part of breaking the cycle of poverty, violence and disadvantage, endemic across Timor-Leste.
Please visit www.bafuturu.org to find out more about Ba Futuru and this project.
Donations are valuable and will contribute to the following: low-income scholarships; educator teacher training manuals; education materials for children; teacher training program.
Please contact us by email to arrange a visit. The pre-school can receive visitors between 9:30 and 12:30 M-F.
What To Bring
Good quality age appropriate toys and books are always very welcome.
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