Research shows that the first 1,000 days are foundational affecting a child’s capacity to grow, learn and thrive over his or her entire life. The first few years form the basis for future learning, good health and nutrition and overall well-being. Our partnerships therefore focus on five key areas to help communities nurture healthy children under age six:
IMPROVING FOOD AND NUTRITION
Our work supports nutrition counseling during and after pregnancy, promotes exclusive breastfeeding, and effective feeding and care practices for families, ensuring families have enhanced access to nutritious foods. Our programs also monitor the growth and development of children over the critical early years and link with health systems as needed for maximum care.
PROTECTING HEALTH AND PREVENTING DISEASE
In many countries around the world, pregnant women, mothers and children are most at-risk of contracting deadly and preventable diseases because they lack access to health care. We train local health workers and community volunteers to focus on prenatal and postnatal care, prevention of pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea (e.g. immunizations and nets), mother-to-child transmission and care for families impacted by HIV/AIDS. Our programs also provide access to clean water, proper sanitation and hygiene education, and help with early identification and treatment of illnesses.
Education about early stimulation and growth and development is critical for children to reach their full potential. Using a holistic and integrated approach, we focus on teaching parents and caregivers skills and activities that involve play, nurturing and stimulation through home visits and family support networks. Our programs support early care and education and can help children transition to quality preschools and primary school.
CREATING ECONOMIC STABILITY
A family’s access to financial resources and education has a direct impact on a child’s development and their performance in school. Our programs create economic opportunities and strengthen communities to help parents and caregivers earn an income. We help ensure that families can provide food, health care and education for their children. This work includes supporting Savings with Education (SwE) groups, providing financial and business training, providing loans to individuals and groups for small businesses and developing micro-insurance products, village banks and cooperatives for people without access to traditional financial markets and institutions.
Social protection lessens the effects of poverty on families, strengthening their ability to care for children and enhance access to basic services. Our programs focus on underserved groups and communities by offering counseling and other services to prevent domestic and child abuse, ensure parents have adequate child care and train faith leaders to help put an end to violence and support people in crisis situations.
Learn more about Episcopal Relief & Development’s integrated early childhood development work.
OUR OTHER PRIORITIES: