ChildFund Sri Lanka recognizes the critical importance of supporting care-givers in building a strong foundation for nurturing care and towards early childhood development.
As an initial step to empowering care-givers through formally approved, professional training, ChildFund Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka (VTA) to standardize the existing knowledge and skills of selected individuals to obtain a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Certificate.
The signing of the MOU took place recently between Mr. Eranga Basnayake, Chairman/CEO, Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka, and Mr. Nalaka Siriwardena, Country Manager, ChildFund Sri Lanka in the presence of senior officers from the VTA and ChildFund Sri Lanka.
Mr. Eranga Basnayake, stated, “In agreement with the request from ChildFund Sri Lanka we are conducting training towards a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Certificate in Childcare to selected child caregivers ensuring a more systematic and a recognized vocational training as well as professional empowerment.”
Mr. Nalaka Siriwardena, added, “ChildFund is extremely pleased to have signed an MOU with the VTA to provide formal and recognized training for ‘Lead Mothers’, who has the potential to deliver knowledge and advice to their peers. Our ‘Lead Mothers program’ is evolving to a social enterprise for childcare which provide economic opportunity in the sector of care giving and to provide quality services which facilitate age-appropriate growth and development for children. The program has positively contributed to the enhanced knowledge of parents and caregivers resulting in changes in behaviors and attitudes of parents towards both nutritional development and cognitive development of children. This qualification will strengthen their skillset and help to transform children’s lives.”
The first apprentice training course is scheduled to commence for 15 mothers in Madamulana VTA Center in the Hambantota District. ChildFund Sri Lanka has provided the necessary infrastructure facilities including the training equipment and the course fee for the participating adult trainees. Based on the MOU, VTA will deliver relevant and flexible training strengthening caregivers with knowledge and skills to ensure the participants are able to provide responsive care and early learning development, while also improving their employability. Participants will receive the National Certificate at NVQ Level 3 in the occupation of Child Care Giver.
The selected participants are individuals engaged in ChildFund Sri Lanka’s ‘Lead Mothers’ program, who are trained volunteer mothers and already key facilitators within the community acting as peer educators, mentors and change agents.
Recognized as one of the most successful interventions of ChildFund Sri Lanka thus far, the ‘Lead Mothers’ program promotes knowledge on positive parenting and strengthening mothers’ engagement in child nutrition and development which is then cascaded within the community by trained parents and caregivers who share their knowledge with their peers.
ChildFund, an international NGO in Sri Lanka for over four decades has been actively involved in supporting children reach their full potential. ChildFund Sri Lanka continues interventions in healthy & secure infants, educated and confident children, and skilled and engaged youth.