Malawi ECD Coalition joins forces with the International Step by Step Association
For the first time in ISSA’s near twenty year’s history, we are joined by a coalition that operates from Africa. The Malawian Early Childhood Development Coalition (ECDC), is a joint venture comprised of various partners that all concern themselves with the betterment of Quality and Early Childhood Development interventions throughout the nation.
ECDC is an organization made up of community based groups and individuals that work closely with (local) governments. One of its key roles is to coordinate the advocacy work on early childhood issues and to monitor the evaluation of ongoing Early Childhood Development programs in Malawi. The organization provides trainings to professionals, manages a project on inclusive early childhood development, shares news and resources with their membership and the wider professional community in Malawi.
It is also vital for the ECDC network to organize frequent lobby events and professional gatherings. In June, the ECD Coalition* presented a position paper to the Malawi Parliamentary Committee on Social Welfare on inclusive Early Childhood Development in Malawi. The theme was Leave No Child Behind, a vital part of the nation’s goal to ‘enable girls and boys complete free equitable and quality education in Malawi.’ The lobby aims to ensure that inclusion is taken into full account when parliament discusses Early Childhood Development issues.
ECDC came in close contact with ISSA because of the Nurturing Care Framework earlier this year. The highly practical and informative nature of the Framework and its network was reason to approach ISSA to secure knowledge exchange, to make use of existing resources, and the experience within the network when it comes to equipping and expanding current services and the underlying systems.
Although Africa is not the strategic focus of the ISSA, the organization’s admission will provide an opportunity to support the network of organizations in Malawi for quality, accessible and holistic ECD services. ISSA’s board also mentioned that information and experiences about their work and networking practice would bring useful insights in African ECD developments. Lastly, the coalition was praised for its strong child protection component, which is important in terms of children`s rights.