THE CHILDREN'S CENTER OF CHAMWINO
A common saying in Swahili is “Elimu ni Ufunguo wa Maisha,” which is translated into English as “Education is the Key to Life.” Because the people of Chamwino Ikulu value the arts, education, and people’s empowerment through education and experiences in the arts, it follows that Chamwino Connect focuses its attention on supporting these values.
In 2010, CC and CAC embarked on a project with the community of Chamwino to offer early childhood education to children whose families could not afford to pay for private pre-school and kindergarten education. The mission of the Children’s Center was to provide an early start in education for children that would prepare them well for primary school and generate long-term benefits in their educational progress, their health and overall stability at home. At the Center, children have received a high-quality education, a nutritious meal and learned about their culture through arts, music, and dance. Their education happens through scholastic reading and writing exercises, even as they also learn through their engagement in the arts. The impact of the Children’s Center of Chamwino has been wide-reaching, from benefits to the young children as well as to their families. Five full-time staff members have worked together to provide experiences in communication skills, reading readiness, and mathematical concepts, much of it through stories, songs, movement and dance.The Center has been a source of pride for families and the wider community, as the young children learned in playful wells, readying themselves for studies in the primary school.
The success of the Chamwino Children’s Center can be attributed to the stonrg leadership of the CAC staff members, as well as the community at large, who envisioned and executed the program in partnership with Chamwino Connect.