ChildFund Bolivia’s Early Childhood Development programs complement its malnutrition efforts by helping parents become knowledgeable about their children’s development in early childhood, beginning with breastfeeding and feeding relationships.
ChildFund trains youth leaders and volunteer Guide Mothers for in-home work evaluating the development of children ages 0 to 5 and teaching parents and caregivers how to understand and promote their children’s development. Early Childhood Development centers, which are environments designed specifically to support the development of preschool-age children, continue the process of educating parents about child development and parenting while also depending on the parents’ participation in the running of the centers.
Once children enter the formal school system, they continue to benefit from ChildFund’s after-school programs in ChildFund-supported community centers, offering academic support, leadership training and other educational opportunities. “Everyone at the community center has supported me in one way or another; now it’s my opportunity to guide and help the new generation,” says Berta, age 19, who now studies at university thanks to after-school programs that focus on math, language and other core areas not typically found in the Bolivian education system.