This is a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) initiative for El Salvador that is part of the project titled: "The Family Is at the Forefront of Protecting Children", which works to strengthen parental responsibility and family skills for providing comprehensive care for their children during early childhood. The project emphasises appropriate upbringing and violence prevention in domestic and broader social environments.
To this end, greater awareness and orientation, as well as training, is provided to families, so they can appropriately carry out their role with their sons and daughters to achieve greater understanding, interaction, and communication. Themes such as self-esteem, gender, masculinity, disabilities, domestic violence, a culture of peace, values, and conflict resolution mediation are all included in the trainings.
There are three main project activities:
- The first is called "También Soy Persona" (I am a person too), consisting of a family orientation methodology implemented through networks of the institutions that work with children of the early childhood age - El Instituto Salvadoreño para el Desarrollo Integral de la Niñez y la Adolescencia ( ISNA - the Salvadoran Institute for Comprehensive Development of Children and Adolescents), the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Public Health - in the municipalities that participate in the Red Solidaria (Solidarity Network) Programme and in areas where violence is a factor.
- The second is called "Toma Mi Mano" (Take my hand) and consists in a literacy campaign directed to the family members of children six years old and younger. The content of the literacy instruments teaching reading and writing deals with appropriate child rearing practices. In both cases, UNICEF coordinates its programmes to achieve the most impact on the families that receive attention from the different programmes.
- The third activity seeks to generate understanding and information about early childhood development education carried out at both formal and informal levels, as well as to strengthen the organisational capacities of the governmental and non-governmental entities that work in this area.
The project seeks to strengthen coordination through the Red de Centros de Atención Infantil (Network of Child Care Centres) and work together to develop strategies to broaden both quality and coverage through non-institutional means, promoting the participation of the family and the community.
The initiative included a course for which a technical certificate was awarded to strengthen skills in developing building masculinity processes. The technical personnel of the institution taught the course, and its objective was to train other people who can bring development projects such as these to scale.
Early childhood, violence prevention, rights.
ISNA, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health, Network of Child Care Centres
Ibero American States Organisation website page in PDF format on advances in early childhood education, accessed January 29 2013.