We have been working with the community of Nchokera to give the youngest children a headstart in their education by helping to improve a community-based childcare centre (CBCC). This centre currently supports 80 children between the ages of two to six years. There are six caregivers who work with the children every day, providing a daily meal and vital early years education. The CBCC building at Nchokera was completed by Joshua in August 2019, a huge improvement from the run-down old building they used to use.
Prior to the construction, Joshua had had only minimum contact with the feeding centre and simply provided likuni phala (a fortified maize porridge) for the children but was not involved with training or providing educational resources.
Since the opening of the purpose built building, Joshua has now been able to be much more active in our support. The volunteer caregivers from Nchokera have been incredibly engaged and enthusiastic and have now been included in all the training programmes that Joshua provide, which has seen a huge improvement in teaching practice, knowledge of basic health and hygiene, child safeguarding and increased skills in making their own resources from locally available materials.
Community members help with the feeding programme and a group of volunteers have now been trained in the production of porridge including growing additional crops that will supplement existing donations of likuni phala, increasing community participation and sustainability.
To support children through the community centre at Nchokera, including providing the daily meal of likuni phala and training to all the volunteer caregivers costs us just £1880 a year. A regular donation means we can commit to supporting them – and other villages in Malawi.