Fernanda, who works in an Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre in Fatumeta, Timor-Leste, often begins class by asking the children questions.
“What do people usually use to communicate with each other?”
Most of the children confidently say, “A telephone.”
“Is there anything other than a telephone?” Fernanda asks.
The class becomes quiet. Five-year-old Abrigu and his friends are searching for the answer. Fernanda gives the children a clue: “Something that we watch the news or a movie with — what do you call it?”
“A television!” the children say in unison .
After hearing their answers, Fernanda explains today’s topic to the children: different means of communication. She talks about telephones, televisions, newspapers and radio.
The Fatumeta ECD centre started in 2008 with support from ChildFund. In her class of 27 children, Fernanda uses methods and techniques she learned in ChildFund’s training programs. By providing the children with various types of games and learning activities, she hopes to help them learn important skills while also expressing their creativity.
As part of today’s lesson, Abrigu (seen above) carefully writes the letters of the alphabet on a large chalkboard. Afterwards, Fernanda asks children to count the letters — combining learning about the alphabet with counting exercises, which will enhance the children’s overall comprehension.
ChildFund, along with local partner organization Moris Foun, supplies the centre with books, paper and pencils, as well as education training for the staff members. ChildFund’s goal is to support children so they can complete their studies and become confident, educated adults who can help their communities to improve.
Abrigu’s father, Agusto, came with him to the centre today. A farmer, and a father of seven, Agusto is aware of the importance of education for his children’s future. He says that one of Abrigu’s sisters has also gone through the ECD program. She is now in the second grade and is doing well, Agusto proudly reports. “She is confident in her learning and is progressing well because she had the opportunity to develop her knowledge in the very beginning through the ECD centre.”
You can help ChildFund promote good practice around early childhood development, and make sure children get the best educational, physical and emotional support possible by becoming a child sponsor. Find out more about our programme here