A Global Development Alliance (GDA) between the United States Agency for International Development, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and PATH–an international health organization–adds early childhood development to health systems and communities in three provinces of Mozambique
Kate Davidson, Media Relations: 206.302.4637
Maputo Province, 25 July 2016–A new alliance, together with the dedication of national and local leaders, is helping children in three provinces of Mozambique develop the healthy minds they need to thrive.
The objective of this alliance is to give marginalized and vulnerable children the developmental support they need to become healthier citizens with better social, educational, and economic outcomes.
Research has shown that early child development (ECD) activities, provided during the crucial window between conception and a child's third birthday, helps children develop the mental, social, and physical capabilities to succeed. Yet in Mozambique, as in other countries, many children never receive this support, preventing them from reaching their full potential.
Fortunately, an increasing body of evidence demonstrates that providing a stimulating environment for children between birth and the age of three can decrease–or even reverse– the negative developmental impact of poor health, malnutrition, and HIV exposure. Proven ECD activities include more responsive care; simple, homemade toys; interactive play and other stimulating activities–and simply talking with children. Studies show that with the provision of early child education, children grow up to be healthier and better-educated adults and have improved economic and social outcomes.
The new alliance harnesses the power of ECD to help more Mozambican children thrive. Over the next three years, PATH, a US-based global health organization, will receive funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Hilton Foundation to expand ECD interventions in the provinces of Maputo, Sofala, and Zambezia. For the first time in Mozambique, ECD will be systematically integrated into services for maternal and child health, nutrition, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and orphans and vulnerable children.
This partnership contributes to the USAID mission strategic plan development objective 4 of improving the health status of targeted populations, while furthering the Hilton Foundation's mission to improve the developmental outcomes for vulnerable young children affected by HIV and AIDS.
"This pioneering effort signals a bold commitment by the government of Mozambique and international partners to support vulnerable children," said Peter Laugharn, President and CEO of the Hilton Foundation.
Over time, these efforts could also be scaled throughout Mozambique–helping millions more children contribute to the strength and development of their country.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. In 2015, the Humanitarian Prize was awarded to Landesa, a Seattle-based land rights organization. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants, distributing $107 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.
Since 1995, USAID has been deeply committed to mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. USAID works in close collaboration with the people and Government of Mozambique and other U.S. Government agencies to implement a comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, treatment, and strengthening the health system throughout Mozambique, to improve the health of Mozambicans.
Early Child Development (ECD) is aligned with the prioritization of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) under PEPFAR Blueprint for creating an AIDS-Free Generation. The ECD approach is recommended in high prevalence epidemics to tackle child, family and community matters, related to the child development.
To ensure the continuum of care from pregnancy to school, the project will integrate and expand the promotion of ECD into maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services at the health facility and community level in Maputo and provide technical assistance in Sofala and Zambezia provinces.
USAID also supports the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare in the area of institutional capacity, by building the capacity of childhood educators, under the health system strengthening.