Shine Early Years prepare for schools return

November 2020

Our Early Years classes were able to recommence on 12th October 2020 but only with a small group of older children aged 5-6 years of age. The aim was to help prepare them for school admission at Mwanji primary school (pictured below). The younger children are sadly still unable to attend.

To ensure the social distance among the children and the caregivers the Early Years is divided into two groups during the lessons. Posters about covid-19 prevention measures are now posted inside and outside the hall.

Due to the global pandemic of covid-19 and the already heavy health and physical challenges already impacting our community, the Early Years group is looking at how it can support affected parents long term. With communities in our area struggling to make ends meet, the majority of the support needs to focus on supporting single mothers.

The latest report from the team looked into two areas alone which have impacted the overall well-being of families already under pressure. The two primary areas of focus are;

  1. Hunger and the risk of malnutrition.
  2. Child care and protection and the risk of child neglect/abuse

Shine Relief Early Years considers every child’s health and has been a vehicle to address both of these needs bringing relief to parents and children. Despite efforts to distribute food parcels over the past 6 months to vulnerable families, the Likuni Phala (fortified porridge) needed for growth has sadly been unavailable to the many children who need it daily. With Shine Early Years unable to continue its role in providing essential child care sessions, the number of children at risk of neglect and abuse through unsafe care provision has increased.

Assessments are being conducted with children returning to Shine Village, examining their health and behavior. Shine aims to know the impacts during the period they were not in school. The parents will also be interviewed.

Photo taken at the areas local school which our Early Years children will attend – shows an average class size of 100-150

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