200 million children under the age of five will fail to reach their full developmental potential because of poverty, poor health and nutrition, and deficient care. The 2nd National ECD Stakeholders' Conference focused on Accelerating ECD Impact Through Partnerships and took place on July 25th and 26th at Kenyatta University. Attended by stakeholders from diverse fields, from government to implementers to academia, the conference included sessions on the Nurturing Care Framework as well as model programme examples from across Kenya.
The UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya, Siddharth Chatterjee, spoke during the opening of the conference. Many of the attendees noted that the RC’s inspiring speech was a highlight of the conference. The Chairman of the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC), Hon. Guleid, a close partner of the Platform, spoke on ECD implementation in the northern counties. The nine counties that constitute the Frontier Counties Development Council have long been economically marginalized, fragile and suffered from instability, poverty and insecurity. However, they have tremendous potential and it was particularly interesting to hear how they are making strides towards improving the quality of life for their people.
Additionally, Arif Neky, the Platform’s Coordinator in Kenya, presented the Platform’s innovative approach during a breakout session which included presentations by Sriram Bharatam of Kuza Biashara and Tim Smyth, co-founder of 1 Degree South Growth Fund. Kuza Biashara received an innovation grant from the Platform for its work in creating and delivering bite-sized micro-learning modules on ECD. 1 Degree South Growth Fund is a US $200 million investment fund with interests in innovative sustainable projects in tech, health, education and energy. Tim spoke on the necessity to pitch projects appropriately for the private sector rather than using the same approach for donors.
Following two days of excellent discussion, the attendees agreed on a communiqué that is in the process of being finalised and disseminated. The communiqué calls for continuing the momentum generated by the conference to continue to mobilise support for ECD in Kenya.