Setting the foundations
The team at Beginning of Life have been working on setting the foundations for the BRVC programme. It is crucial that the materials needed are produced thoughtfully, and the relationships with local authorities, delivery partner organisations and appropriate Government Ministries are developed with care and with an eye on the often unpredictable nature of Moldovan politics.
Here are some highlights:
- The Early Years Education Programme: the new curriculum materials are almost complete. The draft curricula for work with different age groups are being organised into six manuals. Seven pilot groups are helping with “experimental tests” involving 80 children and 67 single parents. Data is being collected. Some work has begun with a few teachers to explore how the materials and approach can best be handed on beyond the NGOs and how skills transfer can best be achieved.
- In parallel Beginning of Life has opened up discussions with the Ministry of Education and the Moldovan Academy of Sciences. Their aim is to familiarise these bodies with the project and in due course to acquire approvals of the materials/curricula/interventions from these bodies which will increase the impact, reach and longer term sustainability of the project.
- Appropriate partners have been identified to set up the first Moldovan House of Opportunity Programme, which will be in Cumrat, and suitable premises have been found. FSCI will begin training the Moldovan team in the spring of 2022 with a view to opening the first House to vulnerable young people in August 2022.
- Beginning of Life has had a number of conversations with potential independent suppliers of evaluation. These have not yet resulted in a good match. Some organisations approached are not interested, as their focus is more policy/political. We are confident the right partner will be found soon enough.
- The Department of Education of the Gagauzia Autonomous Region has agreed to be an official partner with Beginning of Life with the intention of using the Early Years Education Programme materials in all their Kindergartens. The idea is for double branding with everything carrying both logos and the public officials promoting/mandating use. The Local Authority required clarification that BoL did not expect them to contribute financially at this point. This illustrates the important role philanthropic vision and funds can play in social change.
- Beginning of Life is currently looking for more venues/outlets/channels in Chisinau that could be used to reach teenagers and their families and a start has been made on developing the project content for that strand of activity.
There’s an excitement growing! Everyone is especially pleased about the Gagauzia developments.