On the occasion of Children’s Day yesterday, the Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD) together with the National Early Childhood Care and Education Trust and partners, held a handover ceremony in which day-care operators and registered childminders were presented with materials to aid them in their operations, while IECD received two generous monetary contributions from its partners, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
In opening the ceremony, chairman of the IECD board, David Savy, made mention of IECD’s efforts to equip persons providing early childhood care with skills and other resources vital to the holistic development of children, thanking the sponsors and donors for their contributions towards the entity and ensuring that all Seychellois children have a winning start at life.
“We, as parents and adults, the largest or the most important task we have in life is not what wealth we are amassing or whether we become successful businessmen, teachers etc. The best achievement that each and every one of us can do, is to be a solid and a good parent who bring our children up to be reliable, dependable and adults with morals,” he said.
“Today the greatest challenge that we face as a country is failed parenting which is where children are brought up in an environment which does not lead them to be wholesome adults. It’s fitting on Children’s Day that every adult reflects and makes it the most important mission in their lives to bring up their children to be responsible adults and we’ll give a great winning start to every child,” Captain Savy said.
The first set of presentations, to the childcare operators and children were sets of Big Books, a resource aimed at developing literacy in young children while registered home-based childminders were presented with the Stacked bed funded by the national ECCE Trust Fund, a symbolic gesture to remind that every child deserves the right care and education for their holistic development. The materials donated exceed R600,000 in value.
The second set of donations were monetary donations by two external partners towards IECD, in support of the various projects undertaken by the entity. General manager of Kempinski Seychelles, Hany Abdelmoneim, presented to the chief executive of IECD, Shirley Choppy, a cheque for R100,524.38 while casino-brand Gran Kaz presented Mrs Choppy with a R50,000 cheque. Both partners had committed to the donation since last year.
Mrs Choppy clarified that part of the sum donated by Kempinski Seychelles Resort has already been spent on a first-time study conducted last year, to assess the readiness of children entering crèche which seeks to evaluate preparedness and their level in terms of socialising, learning and other related activities. The second phase of the study is expected to be undertaken as from October this year.
“IECD’s main mandate is to conduct research. We firmly believe in research to collect evidence-based date to provide to the government and policy-makers to make well-informed decisions about the future of our children,” Mrs Choppy said, thanking the donors.
Gran Kaz, a long-time supporter of IECD, yesterday made their third contribution to IECD. The donated funds were put towards an advocacy survey, in which IECD evaluates its communication strategy and programmes and the results of the last study are expected to be published in July. The advocacy study is conducted every couple of years.
Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon was a performance by some children of Count and Read day-care centre who through a song conveyed gratitude to the sponsors.
Tokens of appreciation were also presented to Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Jeanne Simeon, Mrs Choppy herself, as well as the childcare operators present.
The ceremony was attended by IECD board members, national Early Childhood Care and Education Trust Fund board members, staff of the IECD, a group of childcare providers and their children, as well as their parents.
The accompanying photographs by our photographer Louis Toussaint show highlights of the ceremony.
Laura Pillay – Nation.sc