Mobile development centers

This new form of assistance helps both the family and the society to address one of the most important challenges - a transition of preschool children from a homely family environment to an unfamiliar society at school. Invited experts help children to learn social norms and assist parents to increase their initiative as a part in upbringing and educational process. The ICR helps parents to master their pedagogical skills, and most importantly, believe in their capacity to arrange a family kindergarten or community development center for children. This will significantly help to reach more children with preschool education services. After the collapse of the USSR, the increased structural and seasonal unemployment led to systemic unemployment. These resulted in a massive move of people from remote regions, villages and small towns to Bishkek and its outskirts forming a belt of new settlements. Many young families started to seize plots of land illegally. Today, after 25 year, more than 50 new housing settlements emerged around Bishkek city with very low infrastructure. There are insufficient numbers of schools, kindergartens and children development centers. These have negative affect on the development and children education and preschool development issues remain unattended. As there is no monitoring on situation, the need for preschool education is not taken into account in the new settlements. There is an acute shortage of state run kindergartens to reach all children with preschool education. Private children educational organizations are not affordable for many parents. Most parents lack of knowledge on child development of from an early age, so a significant part of the children do not have the possibility of elementary preschool education. As external migration grows, children of migrants have to stay with their elderly relatives. As a result, the development from an early age issues have no due attention from parents and local administrations. There are significant difficulties in teaching parents the skills of child development. And this is also one of the reasons why parents are not able to prepare children for school. Rational use of time in the early development of children is the fundament for the formation of a successful personality, the development of life skills and the formation of true values. Given the above, and in order to mitigate social tension, “Roza Otunbaeva Initiative” launched the Mobile Development Center project in November 2017 to help improve parenting skills and the quality of services for preschool children in 8 new settlements in Bishkek. Young families from new settlements are lack of family planning skills and do not follow basic reproductive health standards. Young mothers and fathers have no skills how to take care of a newborn baby in compliance with the standards of early child development due to lack of resources. Therefore, the Foundation recommended to include implementation of sanitary-hygienic educational and preventive activities in the ICR work program as a priority. The Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic acted as the main partner in health education and preventive work. To improve the sanitary enlightenment work the National Hospital of the Kyrgyz Republic helped to organize “Mobile Medical Clinic” where 1721 residents from new settlements had free health check-ups. This initiative incorporates the unique experience of social, psychological and pedagogical support for the development of children and elementary pedagogical skills and available for parents in 8 new settlements in Bishkek. In the recreation and meeting places arranged by the ICR every child of any age receives attention and can tell about their concerns. An adult and a child simultaneously together start a joint interaction with other familiar and unfamiliar children and adults, aimed to reach full development of the child. In the process of spontaneous communication and interactions, adults and children have the opportunity to receive professional support from the experts at the very moment when they need the support. The useful leisure time and the availability of professional help makes it easier for children and parents to overcome the difficulties in raising children and preparing children for school when no kindergarten is available in the community. This is not a day nursery, nor a kindergarten. It is an advisory and a development center, designed for a joy, learning and free useful communication for the children and the adults accompanying them. In the atmosphere of trust and security invited and local specialists teach adults to show children by their behavior how interesting it is to read and compose, draw and sculpt, color and cut, to possess cultural and hygienic skills, to play not only modern, but also long-forgotten folk games. They also learn to see the beauty of the world develop physically, abide the rules of safe behavior, love and protect nature. In order to enhance the effect and significance of book reading process, the “Stars Read for Children” project participants were invited. A well-known children's writer Bek Zhyldyz read her books, accompanied by questions and answers. She also demonstrated to parents and children the chiy kuurchak dolls, made by her own hands. Bek Zhyldyz is the author of children books including Akylay and Aktan, loved by many children. She is the “Togolok Moldo Prize” winner in 2012, winner of competitions among children’s writers organized by UNICEF in 2004 and by Aga Khan Foundation in 2008. Burul Asakeeva, playwright, film director, actress, children's writer, artistic director of the “Rabayat” theater, read her own fairy tale stories, showed a puppet theater based on fairy tales and held interactive games with children. The ICR is an interim link between the family and the society (kindergarten, school) and is worthy of all support from the state and society. Mobile educational centers for preschool children and their parents worked in 8 new settlements in Bishkek for 7 months (3 times a month in each settlement). In total 6469 people (3235 parents and 3234 children) participated in the trainings. As a result the participants changed their attitude to their own health and the health of their children. They started to devote more time and attention to the development and upbringing their children. There were parents interested in the creation of alternative models of children's development or education centers in the communities they live. Project partners: 50 Partner-trainers: Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, Republican Healthcare Center, Bishkek City Administration, District Municipal Administration, MTU, Education Department of Bishkek City Administration, Kyrgyz State Puppet Theater named after M. Zhangaziev, volunteer students from Kyrgyz state University named after I. Arabaev from Kyrgyz National University named after J. Balasagyna, Kyrgyz Technical Manas University, Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University named after B. Yeltsin, Music Pedagogical College named after T. Ermatov, National Red Crescent Society. More than 100 student volunteers worked with children and participated in the preparation and conduct of the trainings.

Project goals:

Assistance in improving the quality of services provided to preschool children in 8 new settlements in Bishkek by improving parenting skills on issues of early child development. To draw public attention to the issues of early development of children.

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