NURTURING CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST NURTURING CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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1 NURTURING CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST

2 OUR COMMITMENT TO CHILDREN S EDUCATION is to partner with local and international organizations, NGOs, and the media to promote and support childhood education as a precursor to success in life. Responsibility Context Investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is cited among the lowest in the world 1. UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank, among others, have developed frameworks to guide policy makers and practitioners in how to invest in young children, linking ECD directly to children s ability to contribute meaningfully to society. Given that many governments have strict budgets, the private sector has an important role to play. INDEVCO member companies, Sanita in Lebanon, and Napco Consumer Products in Saudi Arabia, have introduced education interventions to parents, identified in the World Bank s Stepping Up Early Childhood Development as key areas for high returns, not only for individuals and families, but also communities and society 2. is measured by partnerships, engagement and reach across countries. INDEVCO provides support to Georges N. Frem Foundation initiatives that disseminate core values and facilitate the right to education for children through early adulthood. UNICEF and the World Bank link ECD to UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG4 for access to inclusive and quality education and lifelong opportunities for all 3. 2

3 OUTCOMES Educate a Child, Build a Nation Program 3allem Walad Btibni Balad Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen Produced and broadcast the 3allem Walad Btibni Balad television ad on MBC pan-arab television, Zee Aflam Indian satellite television, and Saudi TV with a GRP of 10,328 and 66.8% reach; distributed over 450,000 free on-pack educational gifts during the period of the broadcast Used Facebook from October through November to engage 31,925 women and reach over 550,000 women from years old in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen Distributed over 61,500 Get into your Child s World booklets and Bambi baby diaper samples to new mothers in 32 hospitals in Saudi Arabia, as well as samples in Qatar (8,000), Kuwait (5,000), Oman (2,000), and Bahrain (150) Engaged with 4,000 families and distributed over 3,500 Bambi educational game gift packs in the Kids In Motion trade shows in Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as part of an Imagine Tomorrow campaign From 2015 through 2016, Napco Consumer Products teamed up with Nancy Ajram, celebrity singer and UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa, to advocate for early childhood education in the Arabian Gulf, the most unequal aspect of Early Childhood Development in the region4. The Sanita Bambi brand program, Educate a Child, Build a Nation, inspired by UNICEF s mission to improve young children s capacity to develop and learn, aligns with UN SDG4 (Target 4.2) calling for quality early childhood development and care. Napco Consumer Products team believed that Nancy Ajram s commitment and popularly would raise the profile of positive early interaction between mother and child. The program s integrated communications reached mothers through a TV ad featuring Nancy Ajram broadcast across Pan-Arab channels, a Facebook campaign, and hospital sample visits to new mothers in Saudi Arabia. The Bambi brand team also exhibited at the Kingdom s most popular family trade show, Kids in Motion. Brands used by Napco are licensed from INDEVCO. https://www.facebook.com/bambibysanita/ 3

4 Raising Creativity Initiative Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen Developed and shared 3 videos - What You See What Baby Sees, Get Messy, and Open Minded on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube Used social media throughout December to engage 48,057 women and reach over 1,065,340 women from years old in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen Brands used by Napco are licensed from INDEVCO. In December 2016, Sanita Bambi baby diaper brand launched the Raising Creativity social media campaign to educate mothers about the importance of stimulating their children s creativity. Coinciding with the alliance between UNICEF and the World Bank in April 2016 to promote investment in early childhood development programs5, the campaign aligns with UN SDG4 (Target 4.2). As per UNICEF, evidence suggests that if the brain of a child does not receive significant stimulation early, when the brain is being wired and neuron connections established, it will be very difficult to rewire it at older ages 6. The Raising Creativity campaign helped mothers understand creativity characteristics in their children and provided tips on how to inspire creativity and help children thrive. One major aspect of early psychosocial development includes children learning to express themselves creatively through imaginative play, arts and crafts, music, and dance7. https://www.facebook.com/bambibysanita/ 4

5 Paradis d Enfants Non-Profit Primary Schools Lebanon In 3 schools in the Kesrwan region of Lebanon: Educated over 2,000 underprivileged primary school students from across Lebanon Employed over 175 teachers Oriented around 1,100 alumni to higher education opportunities Worked directly with 425 families to improve aspects of family life Trained 500 students, 50 parents, and 40 teachers from 5 schools in Lebanon on conflict-resolution in the 2016/2017 Educating for Peace: Conflict Resolution and Civic Education in Lebanese Schools project funded by MEPI INDEVCO supports Paradis d Enfants association, established in 1997 by INDEVCO founder, Georges N. Frem, after creating The Friends of Public Schools nearly 20 years ago. Paradis d Enfants launched its first non-profit primary school with 33 students. Today, over 2,000 students from districts across Lebanon are educated in three schools in Jounieh and Ghosta. In 2016, Paradis d Enfants piloted the Educating for Peace: Conflict Resolution and Civic Education in Lebanese Schools project funded by US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The association partnered with NGOs, Min Ila and Sawiian, during the school year to educate students, parents, and teachers from different socioeconomic and religious backgrounds on conflictresolution, peaceful co-existence, and acceptance. The program addressed UN SDG4 (Target 4.7) for learners to acquire necessary knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development, including equality and acceptance of diversity. Paradis d Enfants strongly believes in the right to a quality education for every child of a needy family and builds on Georges Frem s dream of a non-profit school that would inspire and serve as a role model. With a far-reaching mission, the school involves the entire community students, teachers, and parents in the civic education of future constructive citizens. Students develop openness, a strong sense of national belonging, and the capacity to think for themselves. In order to ensure student success and to reduce drop-out rates, Paradis d Enfants orients students to high school and university opportunities, as well as job placement, across Lebanon. The school s Social Welfare Office works directly with families to improve aspects of family life to create a healthier home environment. In addition, community support and volunteerism are part of Paradis d Enfants mission, as the school actively involves civil society in its mission to expand and grow with the community. 5

6 Théâtre Athénée Lebanon Hosted 6 plays performed by locally renowned producers and by Théâtre Athénée workshop students: - Attended by 60,907 children, of which over 4,000 children were invited to view the productions Conducted 3 drama, 1 TV, and 2 singing workshops to 130 children between 7 16 years old Hosted 9 events for associations, TV networks, nurseries and schools INDEVCO supports Théâtre Athénée as a platform for selfexpression and creativity that aims to educate, challenge and inspire children and young adults. It is the first permanent kids theatre in the Middle East established in 2003 by the Georges N. Frem Foundation. The theatre s mission is based on the dissemination of essential values and the sense of belonging, including those of the family, of citizenship, and of being part of a nation. The theatre contributes to UN SDG4 (target 4.2) by teaching creativity and encouraging confidence as a means of early childhood development. The theater offers drama, dance, singing and TV workshops all year round. The workshop programs are an artistic platform to encourage creativity and public speaking skills and to reinforce self-confidence. From stimulating imaginative role-playing to end-of-session live performances with an audience, students are constantly challenged and become part of a rewarding and fun experience. To further disseminate outreach of the theatre s productions, a partnership was formed with Télé Lumière s Nour Kids TV, so the plays are broadcast for a wider audience. In 2016, Go Go Matelots, Tartes aux Pommes and The Descendants were some of the productions aired. Théâtre Athénée also invites external parties to benefit from the space if they wish to stage short-term plays and/or workshops with an educational and cultural message that share the same values and ethos. 6

7 References 1 El-Kogali, Safaa & Krafft, Caroline (2015). Expanding opportunities for the next generation: Early childhood development in the Middle East and North Africa. Directions in Development--Human Development; Washington, DC: World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/21287 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO. 2 World Bank Group Human Development Network (2014). Stepping up early childhood development: Investing in young children for high returns. www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/wdscontentserver/ WDSP/IB/2016/04/12/090224b fa/2_0/Rendered/PDF/Stepping0up0ea0ren0for0high0returns.pdf 3 Wahlen, S.B. (2016, April 19). World Bank, UNICEF establish alliance to advance early childhood development. International Institute for Sustainable Development SDG Knowledge Hub. world-bank-unicef-establish-alliance-to-advance-early-childhood-development/ 4 Krafft, C. & El-Kogali, S. (2014, November). Inequalities in early childhood development in the Middle East and North Africa. Economic Research Forum. 5 Wahlen, S.B. (2016, April 19). World Bank, UNICEF establish alliance to advance early childhood development. International Institute for Sustainable Development SDG Knowledge Hub. world-bank-unicef-establish-alliance-to-advance-early-childhood-development/ 6 UNICEF(n.d.) Early childhood development: The key to a full and productive life. https://www.unicef.org/ dprk/ecd.pdf 7 UNICEF(n.d.) Early childhood development: The key to a full and productive life. https://www.unicef.org/ dprk/ecd.pdf 7

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