Initiatives completed or supported by the MMCT in the past.
Early Childhood Development and Rural Capacity Building
The Michelle McLean Children Trust has conducted Early Childhood Development Training Programmes in all the regions in Namibia from 2000 to 2010. Topics covered by these training programmes were financial skills, teaching with scrap, entrepreneurship, administration of the creches and school readiness. The Ministry of Education does not provide pre-school education as part of their formal educational programme. Children who do not attend a pre-primary school have a disadvantage when they start their formal education.
During the Financial Skills Training for Home-based creches in 2002, we discovered that most of the women who are working with pre-school children have no formal education. They do not have the necessary skills to prepare the children for Grade 1. According to experts, education during the first seven years is absolutely essential, as it will lay the foundation for later learning and will enhance a child`s success in his/her future life.
The Michelle McLean Children Trust designed a School Readiness Training Programme, because we are concerned about the people who are educating our young children. The training is meant for people who have no formal training but who have experience in caring for children.
Within Namibia there are often striking discrepancies between the education of rural- and that of urban-based children. Poor educational opportunities for children in rural areas arise from parents who do not have the financial ability to send their children to pre-schools and trained teachers who do not want to teach in the remote areas. We therefore need to train the people of the community so that they can give pre-school education to their children.
Both existing and potential owners/caregivers of creches and the children in the creches.
SCHOOL READINESS TRAINING PROGRAMME
The objectives of this training programme are the following:
HIV/AIDS TRAINING PROGRAMME
- To teach the caregivers/teachers how to work out an annual, monthly, weekly and daily programme to develop the children to their fullest potential.
- To teach them the basic educational skills so that they can prepare the children for formal education.
- To teach them to make educational aids from scrap material.
- To teach them how to stimulate the creative thinking of children.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is affecting everyone in some way. Some of the children in the pre-primary school may be HIV positive or have AIDS and others can be affected by it because people they know or members of their families may be infected, dying or have died of AIDS-related illnesses.
The objectives of the training programme are the following:
- To introduce the children to HIV/AIDS because they are also exposed to the risks of infection or may be infected themselves.
- To explain the universal precautions to the teachers.
- To implement activities about HIV/AIDS for children.
- To train teachers at pre-primary schools how to treat children with HIV/AIDS at their school.
- To explain how the pre-primary school can be a support system for vulnerable children and their families.
- To explain how the pre-primary school can help children to cope with death and bereavement.
Young children should know about HIV/AIDS because they, like everybody else, are exposed to the risks of infection or may be infected themselves. Pretending that it is not happening makes it even more difficult for children.