Save the Children and CARE, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs’ Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, launched a six module eLearning certificate program on Early Childhood Development (ECD) for vulnerable populations on USAID’s Global Health eLearning (GHeL) Center. The eLearning modules are a complement to the Essential Package, launched in January 2012. The eLearning modules, launched at a three-day event on 10-12 September 2013 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, provide useful information on ECD for vulnerable populations including children living with HIV and AIDS or with a disability, monitoring and evaluation, and policy. The eLearning launch brought together over 60 participants from 10 African countries – Tanzania (including representatives from Zanzibar), Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, and South Africa – who completed the eLearning modules while taking part in discussions that fostered knowledge sharing across countries to enhance programming focused on young vulnerable children and their caregivers. The launch event was funded by USAID as part of the PEPFAR eLearning Initiative (PDF), which is implemented by the K4Health Project in collaboration with USAID, the Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with a multitude of other implementing partners.
Participants of the Essential Package eLearning Launch Event in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from September 10-12, 2013.
Photo credit: Colleen Farrell/Save the Children
The tone of the launch was set by the opening remarks of Greg Ramm, Associate Vice President for Child Protection and HIV and AIDS at Save the Children, and Elizabeth Lema, USAID Tanzania’s Community Care Lead. Mr. Ramm provided an inspirational call to action for the care and protection of Africa’s most vulnerable families, while Ms. Lema gave an impassioned statement on the importance of ECD for vulnerable children and the value of such programs for the caregivers of these children.
Ms. Lema was followed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, and Children, Anna Maembe, who delivered a strong keynote address stressing the importance of 1) increasing access to and equity in ECD service provisions, 2) establishing coherent governance structures for ECD, and 3) mobilizing, planning, and allocating the necessary resources to ensure quality services for all children from birth to eight years of age. Ms. Maembe expressed support for the use of the Essential Package to ensure that children in Tanzania and the world at large are protected and nurtured to reach their full developmental potential.