Early Childhood Development (ECD) coalition Malawi in partnership with Southern Africa Parliamentarian Support Trust (SAPST) has engaged Malawi Members of Parliament (MPs) on issues about Early Childhood Development (ECD) in the country.
Speaking during the first day of the two day workshop on Friday in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, ECD Coalition Chairperson who is also Programmes Manager for ECD at Action Aid Malawi Jaynet Kuyeli said engaging parliamentarians will help to boost morale of ECD in the chamber and across the country.
Kuyeri said MPs are engaged to lobby for additional budgetary support on ECD among others during deliberations in the August House.
“We started engaging Members of Parliament a long time ago so that when they are in Parliament they should help us lobby for increased budgetary allocation,” Kuyeli said.
According to the ECD coalition chairperson, the exercise has shown fruitful results even if more efforts should also be exerted so that ECD should completely be extraordinary issue in the country.
“We started slowly in 2011 but over the past few years we have seen an improvement,” she said.
Kuyeri further said that ECD coalition also met Minister of Finance on ECD who expressed satisfaction with the issue and agreed to add budgetary support towards it.
In his remarks, SAPST Programme Officer Roosevelt Gondwe said they agreed to support the workshop because ECD Coalition expressed will to engage parliamentarians.
“We accepted proposal by ECD Coalition for sponsorship duly on the basis that the coalition wishes to engage Members of Parliament on resource mobilisation for the work in Malawi which has gone further than few years ago but we can do better,” Gondwe said.
He added that engaging MPs may help to have more ECD centres countrywide for the benefit of all Malawian children.
“In some cases and in some districts the children are being cared for in community constructed units which are not done properly so we wish if this information must be universalised targeting our national budget ,” Gondwe said.
Speaking with Malawi24, MP for Zomba Thondwe constituency Honourable Charles Tikhiwa said the workshop will shed more light on ECD and this will help MPs to establish ECD centres in their areas using funds that they receive such as Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
The workshop will run for two days which is from Friday to Saturday and it has brought together Members of Parliament from both government and opposition sides.