In 2013 Wellspring began an innovative approach in four Early Childhood Education centers attached to partner schools in Gasabo District. The area of Early Childhood Education and care has become a growing priority in Rwanda and the Ministry of Education has clearly articulated this priority in its development of ESSP II 2013-2017. Research has also shown the advantages of early childhood education for future learning and growth, as well as contributing factor towards leveling economic inequality.
Wellspring has begun innovatively working in four ECE centers in Gasabo District using the ‘Asset Based Community Development approach’. In an effort to mobilize parent communities around the development of these four centers Wellspring has lead the parents through a process of identifying their assets, connecting them and finding solutions and strategies to improve the quality of these centers. This has been incredibly successful and parent communities have been conducting a variety of activities. Among which are;
- Clearing play space for the ECE, ensuring there is safe play safe for these young children
- Raising contributions and resources to provide carpets, tables and chairs for the ECE
- Making teaching aids and play items for the children to use in the ECE
- Ensuring that all the children are receive a cup of soya gum porridge in the morning, while at the center
The ABCD process will continue with the use of a ‘Learning Dreams’ process that will begin in 2014. This process will seek discover the dreams parents and children have for their learning and their vision for quality education.
Wellspring has also spent some time observing and discussing with ECE care givers; seeking to hear and understand their needs for training and support. From listening and evaluating the areas for possible educational development and training Wellspring is developing plans to train and support these care givers in their delivery of early education.