Early Care International believes that supporting and promoting Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes in low and middle-income countries is an equitable and sustainable future investment.
ECD programme initiatives in low and middle-income countries are vital to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda 2030. East African countries like Ethiopia have recently given due consideration to programmes addressing children's early holistic developmental needs. However, effective and sustainable ECD programmes need cross-sectoral collaboration, knowledge sharing, advocacy, research and capacity building of actors involved in the area, which we aim to contribute.
Thus, Early Care International aims to support and promote ECD programmes to make a lasting impact in the lives of children. We engage with grass-root civil society organizations, institutions, governmental and donor organisations to address the various health, psychosocial, educational and economic needs vital early in life.
A report released in 2019 by the Ethiopian Government Statistics Agency and UNICEF has indicated that an estimated 36 million of a total population of 41 million children are deprived of basic goods and services. Due to malnutrition and other adverse life experiences, nearly 60% of children under five in Ethiopia lag from their full developmental potential. Deprivation in Education was 50% for children aged between five and 17 in 2016.
The current socio-political context in Ethiopia is characterized by the ongoing conflict in the country and the related humanitarian crisis leaves children particularly vulbenrable.
Vulnerable groups, including children, need Early Childhood Development (ECD) services and programme support due to the fragile conflict context. Moreover, COVID-19, youth unemployment, drought, and inflation combined have affected the local economy and the population's everyday life for the last few years.
The ECD programme initiative is still nascent in its progress in Ethiopia. ECD is cross-sectoral. The Ministery of Health (MoH), Ministery of Education (MoE) and the Ministery of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MoWCY) are key governmental stakeholders working with ECD at a national level. In addition several civil societiy organisanistions - national as well as international implement ECD programmes in Ethiopia.
Intersectoral coordination is crucial for the successful implementation of the ECD programme in Ethiopia.
However, the emerging services in Ethiopia are minimal, fragmented and less of a priority due to lack of awareness in society, limited resources, and policy directions. Thus, we firmly believe working closely with governmental and non-governmental organisations in Ethiopia can contribute to the betterment of the lives of several children early in life.
Partnerships are important for Early Care International. Our partnerships are based on shared values and principles in line with The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Nurturing Care Framework. We collaborate both with civil society organisaions and governmental institutions to achieve our objectives: to implement innovative programmes that promote the lives of children early in life.
Civil Connections Community Foundation is an international non-governmental organization based in Copenhagen – Denmark. The aim of Civil Connections Community Foundation is to increase value and achievement in international development initiatives with local grassroots communities. Civil Connections Community Foundation's mission is to support local grassroots development actors to achieve their aims in facilitating community development for a fair and sustainable world.
Civil Connections Community Foundation has strong experience in civil society capacity building and has projects in several countries. Engaging in Ethiopia provides a new opportunity for Civil Connections Community Foundation. This setup presents collaborative advantages for both Early Care International and Civil Connections Community Foundation in relation to complying development and joined resource mobilization to support activities and partners in Ethiopia. Additionally Civil Connections Community Foundation and Early Care International share common interest in developing the welfare of marginalised communities and specifically the rights and the development of young people.
Early Care International is working closely with our local partner organisation in Ethiopia called Education for Sustainable Development. Education for Sutainable Development is a non-profit, non-religious and non-political civil society organisation aiming to improve the lives of children, youth and women in Ethiopia.
Education for Sustainable Development envisions seeing a country where children, youth and women are economically, socially and culturally empowered to overcome the vicious circle of poverty and lead a dignified life. The organisation's mission is to create a brighter future for disadvantaged and marginalised children, youth, women and communities through education, livelihood and entrepreneurship in partnership with stakeholders.
Education for Sustainable Development was established in November 2007 and registered by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Charities and Societies Agency per the CSO proclamation No, 621/2009 bearing the registration number 0259. It has a presence in 16 districts through out the country.
Currently Early Care International and Education for Sustainable Development are implementing a small scale intervention project, where we aim to map out and create a digital platform for Early Childhood Development partners in Ethiopia. This will contribute to enhance collaboration and create access to knowledge among the various actors in this field.