|Case: LDSC-Zakalia CBCC in Ng’onomo Village ,TA Kaluluma, Kasungu District|
Zakaliya Community Based Child Care Centre (CBCC) begun in the year 1997 with the help of the community in Ng’onomo village. It has a total enrollment of 30 children of which 9 and 21 are males and females respectively. The CBCC accommodates children between the ages of 2-5years, in order to improve their nutrition and also providing an opportunity to early child hood development (ECD) learning through pre- schools and prepare them for primary school.
Zakalia CBCC has six (6) care giver group lead mothers who are volunteers and are provided with trainings and also each care group has a Cluster Leader. Charity Hunga is one of the care giver explained that her group has three children that were born with different problems namely; Tiyamike Mithi, Mary Longwe, and Rabbecca Willard. “Tiyamike born premature with six months, Mary had a problem during breast feeding because of her mother who becomes ill during and after her birth while Rabbecca faces food insecurity and under-nourished resulting in early stage stoppage of lactation. But after attending to the services provided by the Zakalia CBCC and when the Catholic Health Commission (CHC) intervened the health statuses of these children has completely changed’’
Charity explained that in the first years of implementation the CBCC faced a lot of challenges including; unavailability of school meals, lack of classroom blocks and resources for organizational operations. As a result, “the children were learning in one of the churches within the village.” Beatrice Banda explained (Care Giver) in an effort to improve the learning environment, the community to started a school vegetable garden as an income generating activity(IGA) as a means to fundraise for the in order to fund raise for the CBCC for three years (2004-2017)
In 2017 the
Catholic Health Commission (CHC) came in and started helping Zakalia CBCC. The project provided construction materials including asked them to mold bricks, and were provided with 22 bags of cement, 40 iron sheets, iron nails, 2 buckets, 5kg maize seed (DKC80-53), 5kg soya seed, 1 bag of UREA and 23,21;0+4s. As this was not enough, the organization provided a training of 20 days and 5 days to care givers and managing committee respectively for the reorganization of the CBCC.
Joyce Jere (promoter) appreciated with the coming of Catholic Health Commission (CHC). “When the CBCC started, we used to face a lot of challenges like, children would come and go home without taking anything, but now things have changed with the coming of CHC” Children are no longer starving. The CHC provides them with food such that children are now been provided with M’gayiwa porridge with groundnuts, oil, vegetables, fish, beans and sometimes sweet potato and pumpkin.
By Veronica Chikalira