The Rodger Federer Foundation (RFF), which has partnered with Action Aid Malawi in promoting early childhood development (ECD), has invested $13 million (about K6.5 billion) for ECD activities.
Visiting chief executive of RFF, Janine Handel, said this in an interview on Thursday on the sidelines of a tour of ECD projects, which Action Aid is implementing on their behalf.
She said: “The programme is a long-term initiative. It is a community driven programme to get high quality of early child education in rural areas of the country. We are targeting the three to six years age group.
“We are targeting 400 000 children. This is a 10-year programme and we have provided $13 million. But this might not be all as you never know what happens in development partnership.”
The programme is running in six districts, two in each region.
Through the funding, RFF targets to establish 80 ECD centres with modern structures and also to establish 400 satellite centres. The money will also be used to train caregivers at the centres.
While in the county, Handel also launched the Early Childhood Development Satellite Programme
Action Aid Malawi country director Martha Khonje said the situation of ECD is still pathetic.
“This year we celebrated 50 years of independence, but up to now, 60 percent of the children are not accessing early childhood development services. These are not going to nursery schools to have a proper start in life. This has an impact on the next generation of Malawi and it has an impact on the development of Malawi. It’s pathetic,” said Khonje.
She said there is need to invest more in ECD and expressed gratitude to RFF for the investment. n