In middle and upper class families children by HC121107104751

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									                   QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PRESENTATION

    AT INTERNATIONAL ICDP CONFERENCE, SEPTEMBER 2012
     ICDP IN PARAGUAY – FUNDACIÓN VIDA PLENA – since 2001

1- MAIN PROBLEM: ENORMOUS EMOTIONAL GAP BETWEEN PARENTS AND THEIR
    CHILDREN.
    Observations that support this statement:
   In middle and upper class families children are expected to be successful in a range of
    professions their parents select or approve of.
   In lower class families children, especially girls, are expected to become useful (for
    material subsistence) as soon as possible.
   Obedience is main educational objective.
   ADULTS TEND TO SEPARATE FROM THEIR CHILDREN ESPECIALLY IN THEIR EARLY YEARS
    BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT THEY (their sons and daughters) DO NOT FEEL LOSSES, ARE
    UNABLE TO HAVE IDEAS, OPINIONS OR DREAMS.
   Sudden weaning by separation of mother and child at ages 1- 2 years is frequent,
    especially in lower class and rural families. (Assumed results: early emotional uprooting in
    the infant, damage of instinct for caring in mother, life-long lack of confidence between
    children and adults.)
   Children are not encouraged to express themselves.
   Caregivers need sensitizing in every one of the three dialogues.


2- At this moment ICDP is being implemented in a daycare centre for children in the area of
    the Asunción gross central market. Attended by approx. 100 children and teenagers aged
    3 to 17 in two daily shifts (morning and afternoon), Monday to Friday; cared for by four
    employed educators and a coordinator, as well as one or two volunteers from abroad. Run
    by Vida Plena Foundation, funded by associations and friends in Germany, the
    Netherlands and Sweden.
    Currently about a dozen adults (educators of the daycare center, as well as an unstable
    number of mothers and some older sisters of daycare center children) are receiving
    training and are training themselves on caregiver level.
    One active facilitator.
    Since 2008 reach-out to 28 adults (caregivers) and about 250 children and teenagers.

Short history of ICDP IN PARAGUAY:

•   In March and October 2001 Nicoletta Armstrong gave first workshops mostly to members
    of private and some governmental institutions whose activities were focused on children´s
    rights.



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•   During subsequent 5 years five small pilot projects on facilitator level were carried out in
    different institutional, urban and rural settings, one ongoing with parents of “El Jardin
    Activo”, run by Vida Plena Foundation, the others supported by different foreign sponsors.
    Reach- out to 132 caregivers and 482 children of all ages, most of them in their first years.

•   In Villeta, small industrial town south of the capital Asunción, on the River Paraguay, two
    projects were carried out (2007 – 2009) whose main objective was to promote non formal
    education for children in their first years. Local partner: Salesian nuns. The Vida Plena
    Foundation obtained funds for both projects from the Ministry of Education (as part of an
    agreement with the Interamerican Bank for Development), competing with other NGOs.
    Both projects aimed at showing feasible ways of promoting optimum development in
    children’s first years of life.

•   The project combined ICDP sensitizing and breastfeeding support meetings with
    simultaneous space for participants’ children, with offers for games, handicraft and arts
    activities.

•   Reach-out to a total of 90 families and 165 children of the nuns’ social work beneficiaries.
    However, in 2009 the Ministry of Education’s Program for non formal attention in First
    Childhood ceased.

•   Vida Plena Foundation was invited to cooperation with the Ministry for Childhood Affairs:
    (2009-2010), in supporting three childrens’ homes legally, financially and through
    sensitizing caregivers and coordinators for their populations’ rights and psychosocial
    needs. Beneficiaries: 15 adults, 49 children and teenagers.

•   Both government organizations failed to evaluate impact of ICDP sensitizing on target
    groups.


3- Achievements in Paraguay: In few institutional and family /community contexts where
    ICDP has been implemented, children feel well attended and more respected, express
    themselves more openly and are being taken into account by adult caregivers. Some
    adults observe confidence grow between caregivers and their children. Adults observe
    themselves more closely and tend to consider more the influence of their childhood on
    their behavior now.

    No achievements on larger scales.


4- Challenges:
           Children themselves believe that violence is a natural part of their upbringing.
           Adults tend to believe the same as they have been brought up by means of
            violence themselves, and have not experienced anything different in their



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           childhood and young age. “The old method worked better but is not tolerated any
           more” (a mother of three teenagers)
          Fathers usually do not take part in the upbringing of their children. Not few
           women openly reject the getting involved of the fathers in this task.
          Violence in schools, imparted by teachers and the system itself, is not yet taken
           into account as a problem. Violence in pupils only is considered the problem.
          Violence in public and private health systems, imparted by health professionals
           and the system, is not yet taken into account as a problem. (For example,
           awareness of violence around pregnancy and birthing in health institutions is only
           just emerging among urban Paraguayan population.)
          Few decision makers in government institutions consider growing violence in
           society a result of child neglect and abuse.
          Government institutions are mainly occupied with “putting out fires” than by
           looking for long-term sustainable prevention strategies in social policies. Social
           policies do not exist as state/public policies, are not legally rooted down and
           therefore not assigned sufficient budgets. ICDP has not obtained interest among
           the OGs who have sponsored ICDP projects. HOW DO I KNOW? Because feedback
           on the results – that had in all cases been duly submitted - has never occurred.
           (Whenever we inquired after having handed over a report, we found out that the
           civil servant in charge had been replaced by someone who was neither informed
           nor interested in the subject.)
          Decision makers in GOs seem to be unable to understand that sustainability of
           ICDP or any other program or action taken to promote child development is only
           guaranteed through change in adult persons; and therefore are unable to see
           need of change in own attitude towards children.
          Present government is not elected but took over as a result of political lawsuit
           against former president. Tends to upset former government’s policies, will end
           in August 2013 when newly elected authorities will assume.
          Since 2008, three subsequent governments each changed staffs in Ministries.
          Children’s Rights NGO network CDIA is almost exclusively focusing on legal
           matters.
          General lack of social stability especially in urban and rural lower class families.
          Lower class families are usually Guaraní speaking. Even in urban surroundings they
           feel discriminated against because Paraguayans and public and private
           administration are being handled in Spanish.
          General mentality trait in Paraguayan population: indolence (laziness for thinking
           logically and taking action).


5- Lessons learned:
   Low educational level even in persons with university diploma; take ICDP guidelines and
   principles as a “collection of recipes” that have to be memorized academically and

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    hesitate to apply them directly in childcare themselves as they see childcare as a job of
    minor importance; want to teach them to other caregivers rather than get involved in
    childcare. Especially if they are public servants. I conclude that all persons taking the first
    workshop have to assist a sensitizing course on caregiver level and practice childcare,
    applying the 8 guidelines and drawing their profile, BEFORE they can go on to
    facilitator/promoter level. This means that projects must be designed accordingly.

    Not cooperate with government /public /private institutions if upper authority cannot
    be convinced and made to sign an agreement as to reserve space and time for proper
    application on caregiver or promoter/facilitator level, to the persons who should receive
    sensitizing and training.

    Not cooperate with government /public/private institutions if terms of accountability
    and financial reports tend to be unclear or may be changed while project is running.


6- Monitoring:
    By means of application of ICDP evaluation tools for the different training levels.
    By means of annual reports to ICDP board.
    By means of reports on progress and/or final reports for the projects that have been
    realized, to the sponsor organizations.
    Presently, the only way of monitoring is the application of ICDP evaluation tools, on
    caregiver and promoter level, in Vida Plena`s daycare center in the Asunción Abasto
    market area, and reporting to the sponsors.


7- Sustain ICDP in Paraguay: If a stronger partner cooperates with Vida Plena, can be
    convinced of ICDP`s impact based on concrete results and would be willing to go on
    cooperating on larger scale, nationally.
8- Possible strategic partners:
           International organizations like PLAN, Save the Children, SOS (all investing in their
            own programs in Py).
           Agencies like UNICEF.
           Only in 2nd range government (central, departmental or local) organizations,
            because of the problems described above.


9- Incipient institutionalization:
    Acknowledged as a “program of educational interest” represented in Paraguay by Vida
    Plena Foundation; by resolution of the Ministry of Education, in 2001.
    Funding from Susila Dharma Germany (in former pilot projects also from SD Britain,
    Fondo Canada, the ministries of education and childhood affairs).




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    10- Plan: Explore interest of PLAN Paraguay in applying ICDP sensitizing project in
        communities where they are investing, because they are going to focus on Early Childhood
        development in the next years.



Author: Elisabeth Gavilán, ICDP Facilitator since 2002




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