Programme empowers moms

2018-03-14 06:00
Irene Mosan (left, Mpelega ECD centre practitioner) and Ntobikhona Booysen at the recent Mentor Moms training workshop in Kathu.Photo: Supplied

Irene Mosan (left, Mpelega ECD centre practitioner) and Ntobikhona Booysen at the recent Mentor Moms training workshop in Kathu.Photo: Supplied

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Parents of young children across Kathu, Dibeng, Sesheng, Mapoteng, Olifantshoek and Siyathemba in the Northern Cape, are signing up to learn how to effectively improve their children’s Early Childhood Development (ECD), through unique parental training programmes.

Renewable Energy Investments South Africa (Reisa) in Kathu launched the second phase of its ECD flagship project (Parental Involvement Programme) incorporating two key initiatives, namely Bringing Parents to the Education Table (BPET) and Mentor Moms.

Targeting 200 parents in the region, a series of BPET workshops are being conducted to help parents focus on their roles and responsibilities in their children’s education, as well as to empower parents with knowledge and skills to support their children’s education and development at home.

The supplementary support Mentor Moms-programme trains and equips 20 carefully selected individuals to build structured and trusting rela­tionships with parents, so that they can provide ongoing support to parents who are enrolled in the BPET programme.

The Mentor Moms programme is a first for the Northern Cape and is piloted in the Gamagara Municipality, through Reisa’s funding.

Veronique Isaacs, regional community operations manager for Reisa, said there was a limit of 20 Mentor Moms that would be recruited onto the programme through an interview process across the six participating communities.

The two components of the programme are envisaged to increase parental involvement at the ECD centres through an increased number of fee-paying parents, volunteering, meeting attendance and improved communication with the practi­tioners and principals.

The first BPET workshop was held in Olifantshoek in February.

The workshops will run until June with a formal certificate ceremony for participating parents taking place at the end of June.

“We hope to see parents confident with the knowledge and skills to support their children at home, knowing that they will be able to support academic success,” Isaacs said.

Mentor Moms wanted

Candidates who would like to become involved in the Mentor Moms initiative must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a mother, and at least 25 years old.
  • You must be recommended by the principal and school governing body chairperson of your child’s ECD centre or school.
  • You must attend all the Mentor Moms training sessions in Kathu.
  • You must also attend BPET training sessions.
  • You must be a positive role model.
  • You must be a helper (willing to help mothers do the tasks given in training sessions).
  • You must be able to tell facilitators how parents are using the skills they have learnt in training sessions.

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