Focus on early learning for children

National, Normal

The National, Friday 19th April 2013

 WORLD Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello has highlighted early childhood intervention as strategic for any donor or supporting agency.

He says any programme that makes a difference in communities is strategic, and that early childhood intervention is strategic for a child-focused organisation such as World Vision.

Costello said this during a visit to the Port Moresby children’s community education (POMCCE) project sites at Air Transport Squadron and 9-Mile. 

He was accompanied by Radio Australia’s Pacific economic and business correspondent Jemima Garrett, Buk Bilong Pikinini (BBP) executive officer Joanne Grenenger and World Vision’s PNG country director Dr Curt von Boguslawski. 

“We know that early childhood intervention whether it is in health or in education is strategic. We know parents seeing the results of that, develop an appetite to expect better of their leaders and these are the stories I’ve heard today,” Costello said.

“If communities are motivated, are demanding more and are doing far more to make things happen and lift their quality of life, then that is where the focus should be and that is where World Vision and BBP are focused.”

The POMCCE is a four-year project which started in October 2011 with the goal to improve the status and well-being of vulnerable children living in settlements of Port Moresby. 

Project sites include 8-Mile Blocks 3 and 4, Ranuguri and Segani and ATS (8-Mile). 

The project aims strengthen community awareness, participation and ownership as well as prepare vulnerable children to enter into formal education.

World Vision Australia is a support office to World Vision PNG and funds many projects in PNG. 

Costello spoke highly of the partnership programme between World Vision and Buk Bilong Pikinini when speaking to community leaders of ATS and 9-Mile. 

In this partnership, Buk Bilong Pikinini provides expertise in establishing children’s libraries that provide early childhood care and development while World Vision provides support and development in community engagement and mobilisation.

The project is supporting the introduction of early childhood learning through Buk Bilong Pikinini and the creation of small libraries at selected target sites including Evadahana Primary School and ATS.

Speaking to the visiting team, Evadahana Primary School headmaster Samuel Wala said he was happy to be involved in the project. 

ATS community leader Kevin Abotoboni also embraced the planned changes in his community through POMCCE.