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Author Topic: Early Learning Pilot Program in Rwanda  (Read 24693 times)
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StevenBhardwaj
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« on: January 06, 2013, 03:58:38 AM »

Dear All,

The following will be an extensive description of a very small, homegrown, Early Learning pilot project in progress in the counry of Rwanda. I will describe here the basic concept of the pilot, and provide some background, context, and explain my own connection to the region.

If there is interest on the forum, I look forward to keeping you in the loop as the project progresses, and am especially interested in receiving your comments and ideas!  (stevenbhardwaj *AT* gmail *DOT* com)

Thanks much for participating in the forum, and for having the courage to invest so much of yourselves in Early Learning.

Sincerely,
-Steven Bhardwaj

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contents:

1. Introduction
2. My Personal Background
3. The Youth Group OJEPAC
4. The Early Learning Project
5. Request for Comments

1. Introduction

The big concept is: My Rwandan partners (OJEPAC) and I believe that Early Learning can thrive in a low-income agrarian economy, where parents barely have a grammar-school education, and median per capita income is about $5/day.

To demonstrate that this is possible, we are implementing a pilot project to teach reading to children under 4 years old, without any big budgets or fancy setup.

The project is comprised of one employee "coordinator" working part-time with five families, each with a young  child ~2-4 years old.  The project intends to help the mothers teach their children to read  Kinyarwanda using the early learning techniques.  Conveniently, Kinyarwanda is the national language of Rwanda, as well as the pervasive vernacular language.

In particular, Doman's "Teach Your Children to Read" is the text, and flash-cards are the primary method.  (Computers would be too expensive to use at this point, but Brillkids softwares would be an important part of a scaling-up strategy.  More on this in later posts!)

We would like to connect and share with Brillkids parents, to gain more insight into the EL experiences in this project.

2. My Personal Background

I am a 28-year-old Economics PhD student living in Brooklyn, NY. However, I try to identify myself as a "humanitarian," as my wife AyJy and I have the dream of careers focused on empowering communities in low-income countries and regions.

My undergraduate degree is in engineering and I worked as a civil engineer for three years in Missouri and NYC.  As I learned about public infrastructure around the world, I realized that I needed to shift focus, to start building toward our dream of international humanitarian development work.  So, in Fall 2010, I quit my engineering job to apply for Economics PhD programs, and visited Africa for the first time in Spring 2011.

I speak Spanish and Chinese comfortably, but I brushed up on my French for this trip.  Since I am a Quaker, I found myself traveling to Gisenyi, Rwanda and Goma, DRC as a volunteer with the Quaker NGO "AGLI-FPT".  I spent most of my time during my 4-month stay studying to become almost-conversant in Kinyarwanda, the national language.

I found that languages had become a key part of my philosophy of humanitarian development. This unexpectedly led me to return back to my experiences with Early Learning.  After all, I had been raised as a "Doman Baby"!

When I was growing up, my mother spent immense amounts of time implementing Glenn Doman's program for myself and my two siblings.  Brachiation ladders, swimming lessons, a dozen crates of 11"x11" flash cards, etc.  But I didn't connect Early Learning to humanitarian development until last year.

3. The Youth Group OJEPAC

When I was visiting Gisenyi, Rwanda, I met the organizers of a new youth group. Note that foreign NGOs are so prevalent in these regions that they "crowd-out" domestic funding for social services.  This causes serious problems, but also interesting situations like OJEPAC's. 

Elisee Hakuzweyezu was a highschool teacher in 2009, when the cultural student group he was running started becoming becoming so big and time-consuming, that the principal told him he had to shut the group down.  Instead, Elisee quit his job and invested his life savings into growing the youth group, with the hopes that it would turn into an NGO like "Right to Play" or "Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle."  For better or for worse, instead of finding a large institutional donor, he found me.

OJEPAC is a French acronym for "Organization of Youth Peacemakers."  They are basically a coordinated group of youth clubs that share a rented meeting space, and also hold recitals, assemblies, HIV testing rallies, and other events.  Groups' activities include cultural dance, breakdancing, acrobatics, karate, singing, theater, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and an entrepreneurship cooperative.  There are about 200 participants in Gisenyi town, and about five satellite youth-groups in nearby villages, making a total of about 400 youth participants.  Their website is somewhat out-of-date:  ojepac.blogspot.com

OJEPAC is an NGO registered under the names of Elisee and youth leaders.  The organization is entirely managed by a Elisee and one or two other staff, and youth volunteers. My role is that of donor.  (I promised OJEPAC a lump sum donation for the two-year period ending Feb 2014, which I send in monthly installments.)  I communicate with Elisee through emails and long phone conversations in French.

4. The Early Learning Project

Here's the crux of the insight behind this EL effort:

What's the most expensive and precious part of Early Learning?
  --> The parent's time and affection.
What's cheap in countries like Rwanda?
  --> Wages.
What's the difference between one-year-olds in high-income places and low-income places?
  --> Nothing.  There is no difference.

I'm not the first person to have these insights. The Domans flew around the world to do this but never managed to pull it off, probably because their organization was too introspective. A recent Brillkids forum linked to an independent Early Learning program "Joy of Parenting" in Bengaluru, India, but it seems to get a little sidetracked on "choosing the gender of your child!"  The Brillkids foreign partners are certainly doing a great job, although I suspect that computer-based methods demand too much infrastructure and resources to grow independently in very poor communities.

I think OJEPAC and I have a new angle because we're focusing from the very beginning on keeping all costs at rock bottom, keeping everything on the level of the local economy.  This way, if we can get EL to work, then it has a chance at scaling organically without needing foreign management by myself or anyone else.

The Early Learning project is on-the-side from OJEPAC, as I recieve direct communications from the EL coordinator, and her salary is separate from OJEPAC's monthly lump-sum.  OJEPAC was instrumental in setting up EL, though.

The first coordinator was recruited directly by Elisee, but she became pregnant after three months and recieved doctors' advice to stop working soon. There were also difficulties with communication on good EL practices, with the first coordinator.

For the second coordinator, Elisee and I designed a two-month-long competitive audition for the position.  He made three photocopies of G. Doman's "Teach Your Baby to Read" book (French version), and the young women candidates held a weekly discussion group of assigned readings in the book.  They each received a stipend of $15 for their audition effort during the second month of the audition, after which point Elisee picked the winning candidate.  From the second coordinator's emails, it seems clear to me that she has studied and understood the EL philosophy impressively well.

The task of the coordinator(s) for the first seven months was to visit each family ~3 times each week for about an hour each.  During this time, she discussed the program with the mother in the home, and took over for the mother for half an hour or so to give the mother some quality time with the child, and an opportunity to do flash cards.  Flashcard sessions are brisk and kept very short, all per Doman / Brillkids standard advice.

Now, the home visits have been scaled-back, and I am emphasizing the need for the coordinator to provide more and more detailed documentation of best-practices that she has implemented, and her routine activities. For instance, each family has a different curriculum of flashcards based on the objects and people found in the child's home.  Marker drawings on the flashcards were not always being connected to the real-world objects, so she tried to help structure mother-child sessions around objects that could be "pointed to" in the house.

5. Request for Comments

Please pardon me for my appeal, as a non-parent, to the collective wisdom of this forum! Does this kind of project sound interesting? What questions would you ask the coordinator?

If there is interest on the forum, I can start translating the coordinator's French-language emails, and posting them directly. She would certainly be excited to know that she has a worldwide audience!

And let me pre-empt any potential worries: I'm NOT looking for donations!

Questions? Comments? Concerns?  Thanks much for your interest!

Sincerely,
-Steven Bhardwaj

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Tamsyn
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 12:26:04 PM »

Wow.  All I can say is that it is an honor to be the first one to award you with karma.  What a beautiful story, what honorable efforts, and what a beautiful, lasting influence you will have in these family's lives.  I think most of the parents here join me in the sentiment that you are the perfect example of what we are hoping our little "Doman kids" will grow up to be.  It's not about raising a child who fluently speaks 3+ languages among other impressive credentials.  It's about giving people like you the tools they need to make the world a better place.  I'm sure your mother is very proud of you.

I will follow your updates with great interest.  God bless you and your efforts.

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teachingmykids
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 10:32:17 PM »

I agree that it is a wonderful thing you are doing! That really warms my heart. Good luck. Starting low tech is a good idea and maybe one day you can get more finding for ipads or something like that so you can do programs like brill kids, or reading bear. I wonder of some of the older kids could do something like the ordinary parents guide, Don Potter or teach your child in 100 easy lessons. The Don Potter site has stuff you can print out. You really are doing such a great thing. All kids do have potential. Giving kids like this a strong start and the gift of literacy they can rise above their situation. Wow.

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Mandabplus3
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 10:40:35 PM »

This sounds exciting!
Please, please keep us posted! I would love to hear all about it. I would love to hear your challenges, successes and how you handle teaching the group. Can't wait to hear everything!

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MarthaT
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 04:28:48 PM »

This is fascinating to me, please keep us updated on the progress.

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Lappy
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 04:12:40 AM »

Hi Steven! happy

Thanks for posting this on our forum! YES - I believe I speak to a majority of the parents and educators here when I say that this is absolutely interesting and we would love to hear about the progress of this project.

I for one agree that there has to be a way to implement early education AND keep costs rock bottom, especially for communities which need education the most, and I would like to show my support in helping this project. We understand that to use our BrillKids learning system in Rwanda will require infrastructure, something which not currently be available, and I think that starting this project up may be similar to one of the projects we helped in Kenya, through the Ket Wangi Orphanage (http://eeecf.org/projects/ke-ketwangi-orphanage.php), where the coordinator was able to find donors to sponsor a laptop and we sponsored the learning systems for the kids.

Please feel free to PM me with your thoughts on this, especially if you have any specific ideas on how we can help with your project. smile Good luck, and may your endeavors to change many children's lives for the better see great success.

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StevenBhardwaj
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 06:49:31 PM »

Thanks everyone!

You asked for it - you've got it:  Here are the reports to date from Angelique Pauline ZANNIKA, the "coordinator" working with five mothers trying out EL in Gisenyi, Rwanda.

CONTENTS:
  • PLAN OF ACTIVITIES FROM AUGUST 17 TO OCTOBER 17, 2012
  • OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE PROCESS OF EARLY LEARNING OCTOBER 2012
  • EARLY LEARNING – MONTH OF DECEMBER 2012
  • REPORT ON EARLY LEARNING, END OF 2012

I translated from the original French, and tried to represent her original phrasing as accurately as possible.  I also removed the HR negotiations-related discussions from the emails.

Now you know almost everything that I do about implementation of the EL pilot. Hope you enjoy! I emailed Angelique to let her know that I was posting this - so feel free to respond to her "directly."  I will translate your posts and email them to her. 

Please ask her any particularly relevant questions, such as questions that might:
  • Help us understand important relevant aspects of the situation in which EL is being implemented
  • Enhance our understanding of how the EL process is being implemented by Angelique
  • Provide Angelique with useful ideas
  • etc.

Remember that the goal is to make the project work with minimal material expenditure other than markers and flash-cards.  For instance, to increase the library of flash cards, I plan to suggest the use of printer-paper replaceably paper-clipped onto a set of ~10 or 20 cardboards, instead of putting all the flash cards onto expensive bristol paper.

I envision a big value-add in these communications from sharing of educational interaction tips and tricks, in which I lack depth of understanding.  Also, Angelique will surely be encouraged by sharing with the community, just as you all are!  smile

Thanks again,

Sincerely,
-Steven
---------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------

Early Learning
Plan of Activities from August 17 to October 17, 2012

Hello, M. Steven,

I have not met you yet, but I am very happy with your love for children.  The program that you have introduced here seems very important.  The precocious education of infant-toddlers is new for us, and our children here in Gisenyi have more chances to start learning before school-age.  This is my reaction. 

The director of OJEPAC recently reminded me what I should do (the weekly report).  I must excuse myself because I am new in the program, and this is why I have been slow to give the report, but I will be always in order.

Here is what I have done for activities :
Gotten to know the mothers and babies, ~3 years.  After this day, it will be the supervision, 3 times per week.  Before starting, I received trainings from Madame Charlotte and M. Elisee the director of OJEPAC.  We have exploited the Doman book and after doing the test I was the one who won.  The other two girls come to OJEPAC for other programs.

Other Activities :
1. Get to know the mothers in the program
2. Washing clothes and dishes and encourage the mothers to continue with the teaching of their children.
3. Dialogues with the mothers on the results of the process of teaching their child
4. The mothers now become capable of introducing conversation well with their babies to start the teaching.
5.  We have talked with the mothers about how to teach the kids better :
 -start as young as necessary
 -always be joyful with the babies
 -respect your baby
 -teach the baby only when the mother and the baby are in a good situation
 -stop before the child is tired, etc.
6. The babies are now at the pronounciation of a few words
7. I have also helped the mothers to draw well the familiar objects and to write well the letters to present to the babies.

Recommendation:
According to what I have written above, the babies have a very developed capacity to retain knowledge.  The mothers also should have an elevated psychological capacity.  I suggest a regular training of these mothers.
 
---------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------
OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE PROCESS OF EARLY LEARNING

OCTOBER 2012
This is a report, but it also includes my witness of what I have realized after being in this activity of helping the mothers to raise their babies.

1.   First we have been advised and received training by the agents of OJEPAC, with the woman who has started the action.  After a brief moment, we continued to the exam, and I was chosen to replace this woman who had stopped her work because of her pregnancy.

2.   They had given us the book which explains how to teach babies to read.  I believed that it was impossible to teach babies to read.  There was a bicycle in the center for the program, but as I am not capable of riding a bicycle, I have transported myself on foot.

THE PROCESS A LITTLE DIFFICULT
The women started with Charlotte, but they were still indifferent to this education.  Slowly, I also learned how to help them to love this very appreciable form of education.

The pages 103-112 of the Doman book helped me very much.

PRINCIPLES RECOMMENDED FOR ACCELERATING THE EDUCATION
This program, unknown and unpracticed here, is realizable on the base of these different principles :

a)   Understand the mentality of parents
b)   Master the behavior of parents in the region
c)   Inform yourself of their level of education
d)   Know the levels of collaboration and respect between the mothers and their spouses
e)   Be sure that the mothers are available at the moment of the meeting

All of these principles are very neccessary because before introducing a piece of news to the population, one must first understand the people in all aspects.

STRATEGIES PUT IN ACTION FOR THE ACCELERATION OF THE PROGRAM
1.   Visit
2.   Short training of the mothers on the methods and manners of making the EL sessions effective.
3.   Show or teach the mothers how to play with the babies, presenting the words illustrated with the drawings.
4.   Make available the words and the cards with the drawings on the side.
5.   Help the mothers (with dishwashing, clotheswashing, etc.) at the moment while the mother is occupying herself with her baby
6.   Exploit with gusto the Doman book.

TECHNIQUES USED FOR THIS TYPE OF EDUCATION
Interview Technique : I speak from time to time with the mothers.  I ask them questions about what they think of the activity’s progress.
Observation Technique : The mothers systematically present the words in large written letters on the yellow cards
Document Technique: I use this technique every time I consult the Doman book.

HOW HAS THE DOMAN BOOK HELPED ME?

To understand well the age at which to begin the process.
The attitudes of parents during the session.
The right moment to teach
The methods of teaching
How to introduce the new material
How to set up and prepare the material

In general, the program is relevant and the people begin to appreciate it.  This kind of education also requires patience, because we don’t do any evaluation of the babies to know whether they understood.  Only that the results will be observable after a few years after the program.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------
EARLY LEARNING – MONTH OF DECEMBER 2012

The early learning is becoming more and more something appreciable, as we remark that the mothers of the children in the program have declared that their children are asking them many questions of marotisé.  The child wants to know.

This comes from the fact the mother has gotten the baby used to taking time devoted to observation of different familiar objects and associating them with their names.

ACTIVITIES PERFORMED
As usual, the program has the goal of preparing the babies to develop and awaken their intellectual faculties. 

The program, as it is, stipulates that I help the mothers to have a favorable moment to build up and give advantage to the goodwill with their babies, so that they learn over time about their environment and familiar things.

Now, over the course of the month I have continued these interesting exercises.  For the activities, we have done activities with the mothers, including the creation of a climate of joy with the babies, and presenting different names of people and objects.

For the supervisor, it is the substitution for the mother for certain work like washing dishes,  peeling vegetables, etc. at the moment when the mother occupies herself with her baby for a certain time.  This is what I do ordinarily.

STRATEGIES UTILIZED DURING THIS PERIOD
I have had dialogues with the mothers on certain essential points.  (How to prepare the child, how to not spend too much time in a session, which document resources one should choose to help the baby, …)

I have responded to their curious questions – the mothers ask why the idea has not become more widespread.  I explained that the program has had successes in the USA and elsewhere, and now the children that followed the program have an elevated personality.  I also explained that, according to Elisee, the initiator of this program in Rwanda experienced the program when he was a child.  The mothers asked me many questions and I tried to respond to them.

Another strategy that I used is documentation:
o   The Doman book has helped me much
o   There are cards on which I drew and I wrote the wods that the mothers would use.  Right beore writing and drawing, the mothers proposed the words, and chose the names and the objects that they would encounter often and easily.
o   I also visited the local kindergartens
o   Observation of drawings affichés
 
---------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------

REPORT ON EARLY LEARNING, END OF 2012
1.   A two-hour training (of the mothers).  We dealt with subjects including:
a.   The importance of early learning
b.   How to choose the right moment for the EL sessions.
c.   How to teach your baby to read
d.   How the idea to do EL in Gisenyi, Rwanda was born.
2.   The short training was administered to 4 mothers because the 5th was sick.
3.   The training was held in the OJEPAC center on Wednesday, from 14:00 to 16:30.
             
THE MOTHERS’ REACTION
The mothers confirmed that the right moment for EL was necessarily related to their time-availiability.    I.e., each mother chooses the moment that is convenient to her.  Also, the way we are working, the EL times are different in the different families.

EXHIBITION OF OBJECTS
Here we will describe the metholodogy of Early Learning.  In each family we have available all the objects, and their names are pronounced, and accompanied by drawings.  For example: Isafuriya (saucepan), Intebe (chair), Igitabo (book), Umuneke (banana), Inkweto (shoe). 

Our method is to show the objects materially, not only with the drawings.  But, the methods remain the same.  We have to understand that the objects are in nature, not only on the cards – because the presentation of the cards was done well in advance.

Each presentation has duration of two seconds at the maximum.

The mothers do not use the same words and not even the same objects, because they don’t have the same objects in the house.  Each one of the mothers presents the objects that the child encounters and sees in the house.

DRAWINGS OF CERTAIN ANIMALS
We have drawn with markers on the Bristol Yellow paper.  The size is 25cm width and 60cm of length.

IMPROVEMENT OF THE DIDACTIC MATERIALS
The improvement of the didactic materials consists in general of coloring the drawings on the cards.

DOCUMENTATION - SOURCE
Here, the kindergartens have a specialization in child psychology.  This has advantaged me because visiting these schools helped me to see how the teachers present the information, how they manage the activities with the babies.  This has given me more reflection on the love around the children, toward whom we transmit the new understanding.

COMPOSITION OF SHORT SONGS FOR THE BABIES
We composed some short melodious songs that attract the children.  The words of environmental objects should absolutely be in there.

 
Ex.    -Umwana yanyoye amata arakira, araseka
   (The milk enriches/heals the child, and (he/she) smiles.)
   -Mbe kanyamanza keza ayo mababa ufite uzampeho rimwe
   (Hey, beautiful kanyamanza , your wings have one uzampeho.)
-Nabonye inkoko ikina n’udushwi, ikina n’udushwi, udushwi, udushwi, udushwi.
(I saw an inkoko ikina and dried udushwi…)

These songs include the names of objects and animals that the children love.
*Udushwi means little dried fish
*Inkoko means chicken
*Akanyamanza means the “wagtail” bird
*Amababa means wings
When singing, we directly show the image that corresponds to the words in the song.  This lasts a maximum of two seconds.

Angelique.P.MUTUYIMANA


« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 06:52:58 PM by StevenBhardwaj » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 07:15:18 PM »

Thanks Tamsyn, Mandab, and MarthaT!

teachingmykids, the resources look great, will certainly keep those in mind when when we move toward learning English.  English is the second official national language of Rwanda, so that is definitely next-up after primary literacy.

Lappy, thanks for responding to my post!  It's a tough tradeoff to manage between low- and high-tech, especially because the Brillkids software is so great.  Certainly at the second-language level and beyond, Little Reader and Little Math will be amazing, and we will definitely be looking into those kinds of pathways moving forward!

Sincerely,
-Steven

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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 09:44:54 PM »

Oh wow! I am reading through this post trying to picture in my head what this would really look like. I am thinking I am very retry grateful for my colour printer, laminated and laptop! Boy the challenges!
A few suggestions.
Firstly I don't underestimate what it means to walk rather than ride the bike. Please someone teach her how to ride a bike! That would be so time saving,which would allow more time with the parents or more parents perhaps.
Are the parents close together? Close enough to share materials perhaps? Obviously at the start they are all using the same words but in time as more words are added perhaps they could share categories of words to reduce the workload and expense of making them. In this way it's possible a better quality of product could be used.
I love the idea of showing the physical object along with the word cards. I think that is the best way to start. Continue this until you can no longer. At some point sooner than you expect you will need words that can't be shown by the physical object, at this point your group may need some pictures that are not hand drawn. Do you have a plan for this stage?
From household objects, and people's names you still have the option to show words outside ( sky, tree, dirt) and feeling through facial expressions ( smiling, laughing, angry) animals, body parts, community helpers etc
Do you ask the mothers to give encyclopaedic type information along with the word cards? Using these words for encyclopaedic knowledge would be a good way to minimise resource use. For example the chicken card could be shown with information about eating it!  big grin
Songs are a great way to teach and grab a child's attention ready to teach. I use that strategy all the time in my class.
Love what you are doing. Call out if you need anything smile

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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 02:34:55 AM »

Reply from Angelique:
-----------------------------------------------------

From: Organisation de jeunes Pacificateurs <***email removed by Admin***>
Subject: EARLY LEARNING PROGRAM IN RWANDA 2013
To: ***email removed by Admin***
Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 12:59 PM

EARLY LEARNING PILOT PROGRAM IN RWANDA
automatically translated by Google from French

It is a noble action. Children need adults to their development.
The lack of learning of children in Rwanda, a country recently came out from conflicts and wars, country where the level of development of economic life is almost worthlessness, children are innocent victims. Some mothers are not able to help their children academically.  Lack in Infrastructure especially for  good nursery  and primaries school.

SMALL DESCRIPTION OF BENEFICIARIES OF THIS PROGRAM

Families

Currently, our program targets babies  from  five families
* The first family consists of two people (mother and child). The child is 3 years and a half old. She is a girl.
* The second family consists of seven people (two parents, 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls). The child targeted by the program is a boy, he is 2 years old.
* The third family consists of eight people, including two parents and six children, 3 boys and 3 girls. Two children dropped out of school.
* The fourth family consists of five people: two parents, two girls and a boy.
* The fifth family is formed 6 people: two parents, two girls and two boys. Three of these children are street children. But the OJEPAC has identified to help change this lifestyle. Whenever they come to the center to learn good behavior. In this family there are babies of 2 years old, targeted by the program.

Mothers

* Mothers are 5
* One of these mothers is a widow
* Two of these mothers can neither read nor write. To early learning program, we began first to teach these mothers reading and writing. Even if they are not better for reading, we help them write on flash cards and helping them to clearly identify the educational material that are familiar to babies. They adapt easily  and the  participate in alphabetization training.
* Two others have finished primary school
* They stay at home.

Fathers

* They are four
* One of these fathers is a watchman. He keeps the store overnight to afford to feed his family.
* Two others have a temporal work. They carry burdens to earn some money
* The fourth carries wagon for merchant wives. This also gives him some money to feed his family.
Overall, these fathers do not have a good level of studies.

Time allocated to the program

* I spent three hours in each family during the week.
So  I walk  fifteen hours during the week.

My working days

With mothers we chose three days: Monday-Wednesday-Friday.
* Monday I supervise five families. I'm with five mothers and five babies.
* Wednesday I supervise five families. I'm with five mothers and five babies.
* Friday I supervise five families. I'm with five mothers and five babies.

Distance and means of transport

First I go to the center OJEPAC to leave my plan daily activities to ensure that I'm at work because this program is part of the activities of this Organization in Rwanda.

Then I have to supervise five families one after the other.

* Between the center and the first family there are 1.5 km
* Between the first and the second family there 3 km
* Between the second and third family there almost 1km
* Between the third and fourth I made about 500m.
* Between the fourth and fifth family there are almost 200 m
* Back from the fifth family to the house I almost 6.300 kilometers.
I do this either before noon or afternoon depending on whether the mothers are available.

Means of transport

* In the center there is a bicycle. I am not able to use it. I walk but I am trying to learn how to travel on a bicycle.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 07:44:23 AM by Lappy » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 09:35:02 AM »

Oh wonderful! She is learning to ride the bike! By big word of encouragement from me!
It is lovely to hear all the details. It truly makes me grateful for my lot in life.
Keep up the great work. Even if these children never learnt a single word the encouragement and support Angelique is providing would make the world of difference to their self worth. I am sure the results from the reading will make a world of difference to the lives of the children also.

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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 07:01:32 AM »

Dear All,

Thanks again to all for your responses, and thanks Mandabplus3 for your frequent responses!

Angelique is in the process of transitioning from the intensive home visitation 3x/week toward 1x/week visitation, with more focus on writing-up a 2-4 page "guide document" to summarize the basic necessities of the method as needed to teach a mother new to the program.

We should receive a draft of this guide document within the next couple weeks.  Looking forward to your comments on the guide document!!

Here are some more reports.  I selected the portions that weren't redundant with previous posts.  I also included her approximate list of the words on the kids' flashcards.

-Steven

---------------------------------

* How it has been implemented by the mothers?

After being selected as a supervisor, I am regularly with the mothers. I become more more and more like a member of the family because of my daily presence.

The card has the words which are written on the size of 10 cm height and 65 cm in length.  The letters are written in red.

For this program, we imitated the Doman program.  Mothers begin the session at a favorable moment and choose isolated locations where there's not much distraction. But this does not prevent other children, neighbors and visitors from disrupting the program. Thus mothers will continue this program in the OJEPAC center to avoid the distractions at home.

The methodology has been correctly applied so that children tend to always grab any book.

* What are the points marking the successful implementation of the first phase?

Initially, the mothers had cards on which are inscribed the names of familiar people babies. The presentation lasts only 2 seconds.  Mothers create a climate of joy for interest to the child.  At this time, I replace the mothers in certain home activities.

As the sessions have advanced, the mothers do not get discouraged despite the economic difficulties in their family.

As we near the end of the first phase, {with intensive home visitation} the mothers began the session with exercises of review.

They first sing while pronouncing the words and names already studied. Then they associate the drawings with the words.


Words Learned

Names of people who surround the children
* Papa
* Mama
* Umwana (CHILD)
* the names of family members

Names of household objects
* Intebe  (CHAIR)
* Isahani (DISH/PLATE)
* Radio
* Isafuriya (COOKING POT)
... (MORE ACCORDING TO THE PARTICULAR HOUSEHOLD)



Names of animals around children
* Inkoko (CHICKEN)
* Imbata (DUCK)
* Urukwavu (RABBIT)
* Inka (COW)
* Ihene (GOAT)

Names of foods
* Ibirayi (WHITE "IRISH" POTATO)
* Ibijumba (SWEET POTATO / YAM)
* Igikoma (?)
* Umugati (WHEAT BREAD)
* Amagi (EGG)
* Inyama (MEAT)

Names of edible fruits
* Umuneke  (BANANA)
* Avoka (AVOCADO)
* Inanasi (PINEAPPLE)
NB These objects presentment mothers in kind not drawing

Names of the Parts of body
* Umutwe (HEAD)
* Umunwa (LIPS/MOUTH)
* Amatwi (EAR)
* Amaboko (ARM)
* Amaguru (LEG)
* Ibiganza (HAND)

NB In presenting these parties for babies, mothers use their body parts as teaching material. Babies

understand better than the drawings.

We are then at the beginning of the second phase as we finished the basic vocabularies in general.
In this phase, the mothers will gather two words:

Example:
* Red-White : Umutuku Umweru  -  by presenting the different colors.
* Long-Short : Muremure Mugufi  -  presenting a long and a short object.


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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2013, 10:57:38 AM »

Am I correct I assuming that if she is dropping to one visit a week she will introduce more mothers to the program? Or is her time needed in other places?
The list of words seems good to me. It would take much longer to get through that list in a western house! Months! It isn't necessary to present them in that order. Just so long as they are in groups. Some younger children might be more interested in body parts than food but older toddlers will enjoy the animals more than body parts. The order is less important than the interest level.
Considering the limitations in terms of printing I think using solid objects to demonstrate words is a great idea.

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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2013, 08:33:30 PM »

Dear Mandabplus3

Angelique's first important task as she decreases from 3 visits/week to 1 visit/week is to write up the "guide document", a 2-4 page "how-to" manual for doing Early Learning.

Then, the "guide" will be applied in working with the group of homeless/abandoned/disadvantaged youth that have been spending much time at the OJEPAC center.  Of the 25 children spending their days at the center, few of them can read, and 7 of them are younger than 4.  Angelique can use the "guide" to help the youth group as a whole teach these kids to read.

The goal over the coming 12 months is to thereby turn EL into a revenue stream for OJEPAC.  This could happen either by traditional parent/child-based EL models, or by a coordinator/youth/child-based EL model transitioning into a kindergarten.  I believe that parent/child-based EL is the best long-term sustainable model for EL in this region, but the coordinator/youth/child model might have some strategic advantages for OJEPAC as a next-step.

Thus, Angelique's goals are:
 - First, to prepare a great guide-document, and push it through a demanding review and editing process, including a review by this forum.  Then, the Kinyarwanda version of the document will be distributed and posted in the center, so that the EL process can proceed with the entire youth group participating.

 - Angelique's second goal is to develop EL into a local revenue stream, as described above.

I hope that explains things a little better.  Does anyone have suggestions for helping (very well-behaved) teenagers to do EL with 3 to 4-year-olds?

Sincerely,
-Steven

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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 10:05:16 PM »

Thanks. I am glad I don't have the job of condensing EL into a 2-4 page job....I talk too much  LOL

I doubt you will have any trouble getting teenagers to help with your EL goals. Usually they love it. The only concern would be if they are particularly shy or introverted. To be successful I think the teenagers will need to be fun and bring the joy to the lesson. They will need to make some kind of connection with the children they are teaching also. They may already be friends or authority figures by nature of their being there and I think that would suffice. Teenagers just need to be told clear instructions and clear expectations and they usually follow no problem.  big grin a demonstration will help the shy ones.


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