Early Childhood Stimulation Program

This program originated in 2014 when 200 caregivers and 200 children ages 0 to 5 years from the small community of La Cuesta, just outside of Tegucigalpa, were provided with health care treatment, disease prevention and assessment of language, motor skills, cognitive abilities and social interaction skills. It was funded by Kelowna  Rotary clubs and the Rotary Foundation.

The program ran for 1 year, and  caregivers were taught how to stimulate their children through play activities with other children, the proper development they should expect for their children, how to cook nutritional healthy foods, and how to prevent disease.  The children’s health and development were assessed.  De-worming and vitamin/nutritional supplementation were provided where warranted.    The children in this photo are being taught about proper hand-washing.

The child to the left is shown with a nutritional supplement that will aid his growth and development.

20 of the 200 caregivers were selected for extra training as Mother Leaders.

 Over the years, this program has continued, receiving funding from Canadian and US Rotary Clubs and the Rotary Foundation.  A total of 550 children and their caregivers participated in the program and 55 Mother Leaders have been trained.   Many more have benefited as most families have more than 1 child, and women have shared their knowledge with family and friends.  The programming was expanded to address domestic violence  and women’s health and reproductive rights.

These statistics show the remarkable improvement for the 150 children enrolled in the program in 2018.

Psychological Care – Deficits     Start     End                  Medical Care               Start      End

Language Skills                                  40             7                    Underweight                  24             6
Cognitive Skills                                  33             4                     Overweight                       2             0
Social skills                                          70             7                     Normal                          124         144
Fine Motor Skills                                55             3
Gross Motor Skills                             30              1
Normal Development                     32          131

About 20 of the Mother Leaders have started a formal certification program now being offered by the Honduran Education Branch based on the program offered in these rotary grants.  The Early Childhood Stimulation  program continues to be carried out by these Mother Leaders and Rotary funding has not been required since December of 2018.   Some of these women will eventually receive certificates from their formal training and hopefully even be paid either by AyO or the Government in the future.

This program was the  brainchild of Dr Donald Kaminsky, Tegucigalpa Rotarian and founder of AyO.  In 2015 he was invited to be the Key-Note Speaker at the District 5060 Conference in Kelowna, and talked about the impact of this and other AyO programs.

Consideration is being given to see if this programming could be carried out in other similar communities nearby.