Projects & Modules
Reinforcement of Parental Practices Module
What: The Reinforcement of Parental Practices (RPP) Module was launched in March 2013 after a successful pilot program in 2012. It aims to consolidate knowledge acquired during the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) by strengthening the positive early childhood development practices of parents and community members, in an effort to create an environment conducive to child development.
Why: Research conducted in Senegal has shown that some social traditions and norms can hinder infants’ brain development. For example, some parents believe that to protect children from spirits, they need to avoid looking newborns in the eye and talking to them directly and regularly. However, recent discoveries in cognitive science have shown that the stimulating interaction between parents and their children is an essential factor in young children’s development.
How: In the RPP Module, facilitators share simple techniques that enrich interactions between parents and their young children and which are all linked to children’s basic human rights to education and health. These techniques include speaking to children using a rich and complex vocabulary, asking them questions and helping them respond, playfully copying their behavior, telling them stories, and describing objects in detail to them.
The project, implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Senegal, has contributed significantly to the regeneration of some 462 School Management Committees and the training of 1,386 teachers and headmasters on creating ideal learning environments, helping to bring schools and families closer together and thus ensuring respect for the fundamental rights of the child throughout the community.
462 religious leaders from partner communities have also been trained on the content of the program, so that they can encourage good early childhood development practices during community ceremonies and Friday sermons.
More than 300,000 children’s books have been distributed to participants in this programme.
Who: To date, this program has been implemented in 462 Wolof, Pulaar and Mandinka communities in eight regions of Senegal.
Impact & Sustainability: By applying the knowledge learned during the RPP, parents and community members can give children an excellent start in their social, linguistic and emotional development. This healthy development will in turn result in improved academic performance and later success in life in general.
Nurturing the Next Generation of Learners
This short film celebrates the exciting work underway with rural communities in Senegal as part of the RPP Module, wherein parents and caregivers are learning new ways to engage with their infants and cultivate the early brain development that is so crucial for life-long development. To see the RPP in action, click here to access a playlist of videos demonstrating how to read to young children in a way that is at once engaging and enriching.