EU gives $520 000 for ECD centres

HARARE - The European Union (EU) delegation to Zimbabwe yesterday officially launched the ‘’Early Child Development (ECD) Centres’’ programme in Mhondoro- Ngezi, Mashonaland West in its continuing efforts to improve the living standards of vulnerable Zimbabweans.

The programme, to which the EU contributed about $520 000, will support 108 ECD centres in primary schools, 25 of which will be established, renovated, furnished and equipped.

‘’This programme supports government policy introduced in 2005, which made ECD education mandatory for primary school entry but was constrained by lack of funding.

“The EU is pleased to support the Rural District Councils of Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zvimba and Chegutu to implement this critical programme that provides a supportive and child-friendly environment, that is an effective way of ensuring the normal psychological and social development of infants,’’ said Jorge Pereiro- Piñon, the head of the Social Sectors at the EU delegation, at the launch.

Mhondoro-Ngezi Rural District Council CEO, Andrew Mawonde expressed gratitude to the EU and JF Kapnek Trust, which is a partner in the project.

He encouraged parents to enrol infants at the ECD centres, which will provide fortified porridge daily, and regular health checks and immunisation services.

The centre will also assist infants to acquire birth certificates.

The ECD programme will complement the Education Transition Fund (ETF), another programme supported by the EU and other development partners, which provided more than 20 million textbooks to school children across the country.

The EU also supports health and food security sectors in the country. - Staff Writer

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