First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, Monica Chakwera, has stressed the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD), saying it is key for national development.
She was speaking in Lilongwe on Monday during the Global Parenting Month on Early Childhood Development Commemoration at Mutu Community Based Child Care Centre (CBCC) in Area 51.
“Investing in ECD is a noble cause since by doing that, you are helping children to learn a lot of things that help in their brain development. This aids them to realise their full potential in life,” she said.
The First Lady further said parents play a critical role in ECD since they are the first people a child interacts with and whatever parents do can impact positively or negatively on their children.
“Starting early in life is of great importance as it sharpens the child’s brain at a tender age, getting him or her ready for primary school,” she explained.
During the commemoration, Madame Chakwera was officiated as the ECD Ambassador where she is expected to advocate for improvement of ECD services in the country using her platforms.
In his remarks, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative, Rudolf Schwenk commended Ministry of Gender for successfully implementing ECD services in the country by providing policy direction and strategies.
Schwenk then urged all stakeholders in the country to increase financial investment in early childhood development. He said doing so will be securing the future of hundreds of children in Malawi.
“If you change the beginning of a story, you can change the whole story,” said Schwenk.
He added that UNICEF would continue to support ECD services in the country to improve the lives of children.
As part of the commemoration, the UNICEF representative presented a report on ‘Voice of Children of Malawi’ to the First Lady.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati expressed gratitude to the First Lady for accepting the Ambassador role, saying the courtesy would go a long way in promoting ECD in the country.