South Uyoma residents sensitized on Nurturing Care
The First Lady issues caregivers and their children with nutritious flour and rice during the forum, 29.03.19

South Uyoma residents sensitized on Nurturing Care

The Smart Start Siaya team led by the ECD Patron, First Lady Rosella Rasanga today sensitized residents of Luanda Kotieno, South Uyoma Ward on nurturing care for early childhood development.
Beyond Zero mobile clinic was also at hand offering medical services to children, women and men.
The First Lady recalled how responsive care-giving was conducted in the past and how it enabled children to develop holistically and responsibly. She urged caregivers to ensure they respond well to the needs of children during the first three years, a time which is very critical for the development of their brains.
“I see people struggling with children later in life. They try to discipline them to reverse their wayward ways. What such caregivers don’t know is that they lost it all during the children’s first 1000 days,” the First Lady noted.
The place of play in a child’s life
The place of play in children’s lives during the first critical years cannot be understated. The First Lady while noting that parents nowadays don’t allow their children adequate play, urged caregivers to reverse this trend and allow children to adequately play in order for their brains to develop well.
“These days when children play, it is seen as some form of nuisance and they’re deliberately quarreled or chased away,” she said, adding “we forget that in the past, grandmothers used to play with their children.”
She noted that the previous generations understood nurturing care that is why they supported children to play so that the young ones would later on in life not be wayward. When children are denied opportunities to play, Mrs. Rasanga pointed, they venture into other forms of recreation some of which may be detrimental to their lives.
“That is why we are currently grappling with issues of teenage pregnancy and deviance among children,” the First Lady noted.
She urged parents, caregivers and the society at large to have playgrounds within homesteads so that children can take advantage of them, play freely while protected and thereby develop all-round.
What does Nurturing Care entail?
Other speakers noted that good caregiving involves ensuring good health for the children; offering them adequate nutrition; availing opportunities for early learning; ensuring the children are safe and secure within their environments; offering the young ones opportunities to learn and responding well to their needs as a good practice in caregiving.
The Smart Start Siaya campaign
The First Lady called on residents of South Uyoma Ward to join the rest of the county in supporting the campaign so that they can learn good nurturing care practices that will ensure a smart start for every child residing in Siaya County. She revealed that this campaign is county-led and incorporates county leadership from the Executive and the County Assembly. She noted that the Governor is keen on ECD issues and the Members of County Assembly have also been sensitized to incorporate ECD into county plans and policies. This way, they will be able to budget for school nutrition programs, better healthcare and other aspects of early childhood development. Chiefs and their assistants will also be trained to offer support particularly on child protection and birth registration.
To support the component of adequate nutrition, the First Lady distributed to all caregivers and their children nutritious porridge flour and rice.

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