Education

Tanzania Home Economics Association (TAHEA) Mwanza is a Non Governmental Organization implementing programs in areas of Education, Agriculture, Health and Nutrition. Early Childhood Development (ECD) is one of our major focus under Education and we have been implementing it for the past 20 years basically grouped into 3 levels:

  • Home based ECD program (0-3 years)
  • Centre based ECD program (3-4 years)
  • School based ECD program (5-8 years), which can also be split into 2 categories (Pre Primary School – 5 years and Lower Primary School classes I, II and III – 6-8 years)

TAHEA collaborates with communities and other stakeholders to establish and manage community based ECD centers. Today TAHEA has supported the establishment of 30 community-based ECD centers, 12 in Ilemela Municipal, 9 centers in Misungwi and 9 in Ukerewe districts respectively serving a total of 2551 children of age 3-4 years. TAHEA has a combination of approaches on location of the centers in the community. First, we have centers which are located in the hub of the village (Ilemela Municipal) at the same time having centers which are located in the Government primary school compounds (Misungwi and Ukerewe districts).

 

The establishment of community based ECD centers begins with community mobilization and awareness creation through community meetings on the importance of ECD in general.

 

We use Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) approach where communities make decisions on identifying their challenges and priorities before beginning of the intervention.

They then develop Community Action Plan (CAP) which guides the implementation throughout. The CAP is reviewed from time to time to suit the needs. In construction of community based ECD centers we support 80% in monetary form which involves procurement of building materials which can not be sourced locally while community contributes 20% of total costs at each stage from foundation to finishing.

Our model has five (5) learning corners facilitated through play based learning to support stimulation for cognitive, language, social emotional and physical development of children. The corners are Curiosity/Manipulation area, Art and music area, Language and communication area, Water and sand area and Home area.

 

Age appropriate and locally sourced play and learning materials are adequately provided in each corner with support from parents and community members who replicate them regularly.

The key focus is to empower families (parents and caregivers) with children 0-3 years by strengthening their capacities to provide quality responsive and sensitive care to their children.

 

We select and train Community Counsellors who conduct home visiting and provide one to one counselling to parents and caregivers using the Care for Child Development (CCD) package. This year (2020) the program was revised to include group counselling with the purpose of targeting male parents/caregivers who were always missed through the home visiting approach. In order to achieve optimal development of the child we integrate other ECD services like health, nutrition, security and safety.

TAHEA adapted the CCD package in 2016 from engagement with Madrasa Early Childhood Program (MECP) – Kenya and Zanzibar. The major role of the community worker is to provide age appropriate guidance to the parent/caregiver for helping the child develop cognitive, language and social-emotional skills.

 

Two Categories:

  • Pre-primary schools: Focus on improving quality of learning and preparing children of 5 years for primary education (school readiness).
  • Lower Primary school classes: Emphasize on improving numeracy and literacy skills for children in class 1 and 2. The focus is on children acquisition of reading, writing and counting skills.

We promote holistic child development in a sense that we integrate Nutrition, Health, Early Learning, Responsive care, Safety and security services together. In promoting nutrition services, we do the following;

  • Nutrition education and awareness focusing on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) targeting the first 1000 days of a child.
  • Conduct demonstrations on food preparation, preservation and storage with attention to foodstuffs for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, young children after exclusive breastfeeding and during complementary feeding.
  • Promotion of homestead food production with emphasis on home gardens for increasing production and consumption of micronutrients.
  • Training Women Nutrition Coordinators who work with women groups to provide nutrition education and awareness in communities. The groups are linked with microfinance program to help increase household income for supporting adequate nutrition.
  • Promote feeding program in community based ECD centres and Pre-primary schools, basically porridge from fortified/nutritious flour.
  • Identification of children with malnutrition/stunting and provide linkages and referrals to other nutrition services providers like Hospitals
  • We are also promoting orange fleshed sweet potatoes for vitamins

TAHEA is member of Partnership for Nutrition in Tanzania (PANITA), and we participated in the implementation of Addressing Stunting in Tanzania Early (ASTUTE) project in Kwimba district of Mwanza for two years.  We are also members for Ilemela Municipal Nutrition Committee, Kwimba district Nutrition Committee and Mwanza Region Nutrition Committee.

TAHEA has a good team of ECD professionals with varying experiences of 5 to 20 years in ECD programming. TAHEA also uses the expertise of its professional members to facilitate development processes by networking and collaborating with other organizations with similar vision and mission.