IDI's Integrated Child Centered Programs

 Early Childhood Care and Development

 The context in Malawi

Every child has a right to develop to full potential. The family is the primary institution for supporting a child’s holistic growth and development. In Malawi however, many children do not have access to proper support due to many underlying challenges; principally; abject poverty. Access to pre school education for example is nearly non-existent in rural areas.  Malawi has a total population of about 15 million people, of which 2.5 million (about 17%) are estimated to be children below the age of five.

IDI’s strategy and program components

Our aim is to promote Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) through Community Based Childcare Centers (CBCCs). The program targets children aged between 3 and 5 in rural communities. IDI aims at establishing model CBCCs that provide evidence based new and innovative program approaches. Our strategy is to link early childhood development Programmes to education, agriculture, health and nutrition services. The following are the main program areas:

  • Capacity building of caregivers; community volunteers and committees
  • Support to infrastructure improvement and development
  • Link to under five children health services
  • Link to primary schools

Nutrition and Food Security

 The context in Malawi

Malawi remains one of the countries with high levels of malnutrition; stunting (low height for age) for example, is at 47% (5th highest prevalence in the world). Food insecurity is one of the major underlying causes of malnutrition. Over 80% of the Malawi population depends on rain-fed subsistence farming. Due to the global climate change effects; the pattern of rainfall has been inconsistent over the past few years leading to increased food insecurity hence malnutrition in many households in rural areas.  Malnutrition is related to increased risk of illness and death; it is also linked to lower cognitive development that results in lower level educational attainment. Malnutrition therefore has an indirect effect on a country’s economic development

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IDI’s strategy and program components

The program targets the most vulnerable families including the ultra poor, orphans and women headed households and households with chronically ill patients including HIV&AIDS.  Main program areas include:

  • Health and nutrition education at the community level
  •  Promotion of diversification of food production and utilization
  • Capacity building of subsistence farmers’ community groups.

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