On April 1, 2016, the four local nursery schools supported by Determined to Develop (D2D) came together to conduct an open day event, in order to assess the benefits of the support program that D2D is championing and showcase the performance of the learners, aged 4-6, to the local community. D2Ds nursery school support program has a number of key elements, including; provision of resources; feeding programs; support for management committees and administrative guidance and support. Each nursery school has a committee in place which regularly meets with D2D. The aim is to better prepare children for the transition into primary school.
As the Easter holiday comes to an end, each of the nursery committees, pupils and staff attended an open day to ensure that each school is on the road to success for the coming term. 10 representative learners from each school participated in the activity, which meant that 22 girls and 18 boys made up the 40 students who came to showcase their skills and learning. Other present members of the community included chiefs, pastors, parents and local community members to appreciate what the children are learning during nursery time.
This event was really exciting, because D2D were able to demonstrate the positive impact our programs are having on the learners to our board chair, Roy Burgoon who has been visiting from the US and attending site visits and meetings during his stay. D2D staff arrived at the meeting to a very warm welcome from committee members which included enthusiastic singing and dancing. It was a great way to open the event and everyone began in high spirits. After an opening speech and introductions, the activities began. The learners performed different activities learnt in class sessions and sports classes. Some of the things showcased were self-introductions in English, writing numbers, singing songs and fun sports races.
After each school showcased their learning developments, participants were invited to openly discuss any talking points. The local chief of the community hailed the program as the foundation of development in the area because now a tangible change in the children can be seen. This forward step is the first time the local community have seen young children speaking English, and since English is the first official language of Malawi, this head start aims to provide learners with a higher chance of completing quality education. Furthermore, the chief urged community members to actively participate in the program so that the longer term goals of education and development can be achieved.
The executive director and the chair of the board of directors for D2D commented on how impressed they are with the performance of the program. In addition, they appreciate the support participation from the chiefs and community members in pushing forward for the program. It was fantastic to come together with each of the four nurseries that D2D are supporting and we are thankful for everyone who participated. We are happy that the generosity of our donors helps us to continue supporting and guiding the local nurseries, and pleased to be able to share with you the positive change and development.
Tawonga chomene (We thank you)!