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Two preschools completed!

Children standing in the school garden provided by Plan.

Children run into one of the new Early Childhood Development Centres

We are very pleased to announce the completion of the two Early Childhood Development Centres that have been under construction with your support over the last year.

This is an exciting milestone for the children, teachers, and families we’ve been working with to initiate early education in Barouéli. These brand new facilities are the first of their kind in this community, and represent an important step forward. Now children have a safe and enjoyable place to learn under the care of six Education Mothers – local women, like Assétou, who’ve been well trained.

Children standing in the school garden provided by Plan.

Temporary structures provided shade while the permanent centres were being constructed

“We teach the children how to sing, recite poems, tell short stories,” says Assétou, who has developed an evident passion for her role. “It makes them so happy and it makes me so happy to be working with them.”

Souleymane, the Director of the local elementary school, already sees the positive effects of early learning on the preschoolers.

“Their curiosity has really developed,” he reports. “And parents now see the importance of early childhood development.”

Not only that, but by allowing parents, especially mothers, to work, the new preschools yield even more benefits.

Amadou, a Community Facilitator, says this project has had one of the most positive impacts of any so far.

Children standing in the school garden provided by Plan.

Community members were active in the construction of the Early Childhood Development Centres

”Before, early childhood care was not thought of, but now the community realizes that it’s important and everyone is getting involved.”

This kind of local engagement, which is the hallmark of sustainable development, was built in from the beginning.

“The training we got was comprehensive,” says Drissa, the President of one of the preschool Management Committees made up of local administrators, leaders, parents and teachers.

“We learned about repairs and maintenance, the enrollment of children, the salary of teachers, and the purchase of teaching materials.”

Because of the collaborative way in which these projects came about, everyone feels a strong sense of ownership.

Children standing in the school garden provided by Plan.

Children in their brand new preschool

“Every family contributed to the construction of the centres,” says Drissa. “During the holiday, I personally go to weed the garden and make sure that everything is right. With Plan we understand that only when everyone works together can we develop our village.”

Take a moment to meet the Coulibalys, who illustrate that point beautifully.

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