May 2017 -Respecting local culture June 07 2017

Programs that support healthy child development must respect local culture, values, and practices, as well as existing initiatives and strategies. Families benefit most from programs when parents can easily integrate the ideas and practices into their daily lives and routines.

Individual communities are in the best position to design curriculum content and scheduling of programming to meet local realities. Many groups have already figured this out and provide innovative early child development (ECD) programs that consider and respect the local context. Perhaps you can think of programs in your community that exemplify this approach.

In the first video, Dr. Rael Ogwari, Post-doctoral Fellow at Aga Khan University, describes the importance of understanding and respecting local community values and childrearing practices when establishing programs and conducting research. Dr. Ogwari gives the example of baby carrying - the common practice in many African communities to wrap and carry a baby on the back of an adult, usually the mother. She explains the many benefits of this practice. Filmed in Kenya, the second video is a brief collage of mothers carrying and interacting with their closely wrapped babies.