Early Childhood Development Initiative

by Ba Futuru / For the Future
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Early Childhood Development Initiative
Early Childhood Development Initiative
Early Childhood Development Initiative

Ba Futuru’s Early Childhood Development Initiative Stage 2, ran for thirteen months between June of 2013 and June 2014 making a substantial impact in the area of improved Early Childhood Education across five districts of Timor-Leste.

Ba Futuru provided educational, child protection and first aid training for more than 100 educators impacting the lives of around 4,000 children.

The Early Childhood Education Facility (ECEF) provided quality education to young children and built the capacity of educators. Moreover the community outreach carried out as part of the ECDI provided education, support, educational materials, and health and hygiene training to members of the local community mostly from Golgota, Comoro and Dili.

Over the last year Ba Futuru’s Early Childhood Education Facility has had between 20 and 30 children attending each week. 25 children attend the facility 5 days a week – 60% of those children, 15, are low income or children at risk of abuse.

Parents from enrolled students: 

One mother reported– “I am really happy with the progress of my child. Even though she has only been going to Ba Futuru’s pre-school for one and a half weeks, I have seen lots of progress in her development. She’s making meaningful progress like becoming confident and more independent; she can now count up to 10 in English and can go to the toilet on her own. Thank you so much Ba Futuru for providing this great opportunity for my child to study in Ba Futuru’s Pre-school.” (Translated)

A single mother from the Golgota community reported – “In my point of view, Ba Futuru’s pre-school is a very good school which has lots of experienced national and international educators and educational resources. There are many things that my child has learned in Ba Futuru’s pre-school. She knows how to share her toys, behave more appropriately with her friends, ask questions politely, and covers her mouth when she’s coughing or sneezing.  I am very happy with the progress of her development.  I am very thankful to Ba Futuru for letting my child access your pre-school for free and also thankful to all the teachers for their help and their patience!” (Translated)

Ba Futuru needs your help to continue providing support to low income children so that they can receive quality early childhood education through Ba Futuru’s Early Childhood Education Facility. Now that the project donor support for Stage Two is finished, the children are now even more in need of scholarship support via our donations from Global Giving. 

Please continue to support this important work!

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Ba Futuru's Early Childhood Development Initiative has made amazing progress both in our preschool and through our Teacher Training of preschool teachers and other early childhood educators.

In the last year and a half more than 150 educators have passed through our training programs representing more than 40 preschools in 5 districts of Timor-Leste. These trainings are designed to improve the quality of early childhood education across Timor-Leste, helping to make it more child-centred, focused on learning through play, and participatory. There are also elements of the training that focus on nutrition, first aid, child protection and positive discipline to equip teachers with essential skills for improving the lives of their students.

According to the 2009 World Bank Reading Assessment of Timor-Leste, more than 70 percent of students at the end of first grade could not read a single word in Tetun nor Portuguese (the two official languages). This research has informed our future plans, so in the next stage of our project we plan to include a larger focus on working with educators to develop their ability to teach literacy and numeracy.

We are also hoping to further develop our scholarship program for our preschool, in order that we can provide high quality education to more at-risk and low income children. So far we have been able to provide more than 20 low income Timorese children with a great start to their education by offering them early childhood education in our international preschool, which is used both to benefit children directly and also to mentor teachers after they receive training.

We thank you for your support of this important work, and if you have not already we encourage you to sign up for a small monthly donation to help us continue to provide low income scholarships for Timorese children.

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Devi playing outside
Devi playing outside

Ba Futuru's Early Childhood Development Initiative has had an incredibly busy and productive few months, especially in the areas of Teacher Training and within our own Early Childhood Education Facility.

Since December, 64 educators have passed through our training programs, which are designed to improve the quality of early childhood education across Timor-Leste. These have included:

  • 23 educators from Balibo, Maliana and Liquisa who received training in Early Childhood Education (ECE), First Aid and Child Protection (including positive discipline strategies).
  • 16 nannies and caregivers received training in ECE, First Aid and Child Protection.
  • 25 educators from Lospalos who received training in Child Protection and First Aid as well as tailored follow-up support and mentoring in ECE.

Furthermore, in April this year we are hoping to train a further 25-30 participants in ECE, First Aid and Child Protection.

Within our pre-school two community students graduated in December and we have welcomed 5 new disadvantaged students from the local community; bringing the current total of community students attending to 7. Ba Futuru is continually looking for support for scholarships for these students and your donations via GlobalGiving will continue to support their attendance.

The personal and academic development of these children will be supported through the provision of engaging activities and materials, while their physical health will be supported via nutritious meals and 'healthy habits' including daily teeth brushing and development of hand-washing habits.

We are also welcoming a new pre-school teacher, Beth Hutchinson from Australia. Beth has more than 30 years experience working in education and will no doubt contribute greatly to the development of early childhood education across Timor-Leste as well as in our facility.

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Kids at the Early Childhood Facility
Kids at the Early Childhood Facility

In September Ba Futuru undertook its third training on early childhood education with 27 educators from the rural district of Lautem, bringing the total number of educators trained in the last year to 78. This training was undertaken in partnership with Child Fund and was supported by the Sunrise Joint Venture as well as donations from Global Giving.

The participants were educators from 5 different pre-schools in Lospalos, Lautem, parent-teacher-association-representative and relevant Child Fund staff. The 27 participants (20 females and 7 males) were enthusiastic to learn a new and more effective approach to education during the training.

A female preschool teacher said: “I am proud of this training. I learned different activities and strategies for teaching children. I especially found play-based learning to be a suitable method for working with children and I will try to implement this in my preschool in order to slowly transform the formal teaching style [that is currently used]. The fact that the training included a lot of practice helped me to transform my ideas and methods. Now I understand that teachers have to be flexible and creative in implementing the curriculum, and that we should use play based learning methods rather then formal teaching. I see that this strategy supports children’s development a lot.”

Traditionally in Timor-Leste, education is very formal and preschool classes are often run in the same way that high school classes might be run in other countries, where the children are sitting in their desks and the teachers are lecturing from the chalk board. Ba Futuru is working with educators to implement more effective play-based learning strategies that are age appropriate.    

In addition to the teacher training component, Ba Futuru’s Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI) has also been running its Early Childhood Education Facility with two classrooms servicing around 18 children aged between two to six years. This is used to benefit these children directly as well as to show teachers receiving training how they can implement new methods in action.

There are a handful of children attending the facility that are in need of scholarships so that their education can continue. Please think about donating monthly to help support these children’s education. You can also donate and print out a gift card for birthdays or as holiday gifts for your loved ones.

Thank you for your support!

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ECDI photos
ECDI photos

Over the last nine months Ba Futuru’s Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI) has:

a)     Provided two trainings on Early Childhood Education for 51 educators in the Dili district and Bazartete, Liquica district, and

b)     Opened a new Early Childhood Education Facility with two classrooms, which is being used to provide Early Childhood Education and care to 18 children aged between two to six years, including scholarship students from the local Seroja community and subsidized children of Ba Futuru staff members. The Early Childhood Education Facility’s curriculum uses play-based learning, participatory and child-centred teaching approaches as well as trauma pedagogy to engage and teach children from a wide range of backgrounds, including those who have been affected by conflict, violence or poverty.

The importance of engaging and educating very young children is often misunderstood in Timor-Leste. Ba Futuru has reached out extensively to parents in the surrounding Seroja community as well as to those who work at Ba Futuru to strengthen their awareness of and support for Early Childhood Education. Educating parents, caregivers and the broader community raises awareness of the importance of engaging children positively during the early stages of their development, provides skills and knowledge in this area and contributes to the legitimacy and sustainability of the Early Childhood Development Initiative.

Additionally, Ba Futuru has liaised with and formed a strong relationship with the Early Childhood Education section of the Ministry of Education (MoE). The MoE has already requested Ba Futuru’s Training Manual on Early Childhood Education so that they can incorporate its teachings into their own teacher trainings and is currently discussing the possibility of outsourcing trainings to Ba Futuru. Through this, Ba Futuru is becoming a vital actor in developing and promoting standards for Early Childhood Education in Timor-Leste.

Thank you for your support!

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Organization Information

Ba Futuru / For the Future

Location: Dili - East Timor
Website:
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Project Leader:
Brandy Roberts
Dili, Dili East Timor
$10,678 raised of $54,000 goal
 
261 donations
$43,322 to go
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