As a pioneer and leading organisation in early childhood care and development (ECCD) in Zambia, Plan International Zambia aims to ensure that children are given opportunities for quality ECCD and primary education. Our programme goals are to:
- Increase access to quality early childhood development programmes for boys and girls
- Increase access to quality primary education for boys and girls
- Increase stakeholder participation in the governance of early childhood and primary school programmes.
The education sector within Zambia is experiencing growing success and continued development through strong partnerships with communities, government, NGOs, and cooperating partners. As a result of these relationships and advocacy, ECCD centres, primary schools, and supportive services have seen great growth over recent years. Plan International Zambia has constructed 7 new ECCD centres in partnership with UNICEF Zambia, which has allowed over 3,000 children to have access to quality early education, children. The number of children brought to the centres has increased from 5,000 over the past year to 9,500 as parents have become supportive of the services.
Our ECCD programme trained Parenting Management Committees so they can manage the centres and can communicate the importance of early childhood care and development to parents and the community. There have been over 892 (366 men and 526 women) parents trained in centre management in more than 78 ECCD centres, which has led to greater community participation and sustainability in the management of the ECCD centres.
Plan International Zambia’s primary education programmes benefited from partnerships with USAID and Creative Associates International to increase the capacity of PTA/School Community Partnership Committees (SCPC) through creating demand for improved school governance. To ensure that students are safe and able to maximise the benefits of attending school, Plan International Zambia built a dormitory to accommodate girls from impoverished and remote families.
While many communities struggle to incorporate men in parenting programmes, our parenting groups in Kabvumo community in our Eastern programme unit have managed to increase male involvement. 82% of the parenting group members are men (CLAC baseline report, 2014). Our strategies to change these patterns include incorporation of economic empowerment programmes and nutrition, which has attracted more men to be part of the parenting groups.