Over 200 Women Church leaders attended training in the ECD at Bajengdoba NGH District

Shillong, April 22:  The A’chik Baptist Dalgipa Krima (ABDK) Women’s Ministry, in collaboration with the Meghalaya State Capability Enhancement Project (SCEP) and Meghalaya Early Childhood Development Mission (MECDM), hosted a pioneering Zonal Programme titled “ABDK Zonal Programme” at the Bajengdoba Baptist Church in North Garo Hills, Meghalaya recently.

This transformative event sensitized over 200 women Church leaders including Secretaries and Convenors, Pastors and Associate Pastors of the ABDK Women’s Ministry from different Baptist churches all over North Garo Hills District on core Early Childhood Development (ECD).

The concepts to foster holistic child development alongside nurturing ecosystems conducive to responsible parenting within the communities. The 202 women who attended this training are all leaders of the women’s Ministry in their respective Churches. The Zonal Programme was hosted at the Bajengdoba Baptist Church.

The event marked a significant milestone in Meghalaya as it became the first of its kind to train about 202 women faith-based representatives at such a scale on ECD concepts. Through a series of engaging activities and informative sessions, participants were equipped with invaluable knowledge and tools to foster the healthier growth and development of children for a better future.

As part of Meghalaya’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Mission, the State has been partnering with faith leaders and community institutions to strengthen their role in educating communities on the importance of Early Childhood development, thereby bringing together Faith and Science towards the mission fulfillment. 

“We are happy to have spearheaded this initiative along with the Meghalaya ECD mission, aligning with our shared objectives of nurturing children right from infancy. The overwhelming response from participants underscores the importance and relevance of such programmes in our communities,” stated Mrs. Bonjera Nochi A. Sangma, Director of ABDK Women’s Ministry.

The event consisted of interactive sessions facilitated by Rev. Fraidabell B. Marak, and Mrs. Joynitha G. Momin, Joint secretary-ABDK Women’s Ministry, NGH along with SCEP. Topics ranged from the foundational principles of ECD to the pivotal role of faith-based organizations in shaping children’s development.Hands-On tasks through a series of science-based activities such as Foundational Cups, Brain-Wiring Game, Learning Through Play and Serve-and-Return enabled the participants to gain practical insights into the importance of a nurturing environment for holistic and healthy child growth and collective community effort in promoting child well-being.

Apart from these, an activity called ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child’ was introduced for the first time. It emphasized the collective role of the community for ensuring a happy and healthy child, as well as a strong future.

Meaningful Discussions took place where attendees shared personal anecdotes and reflections, emphasizing the profound impact of the programme on their understanding of child development. Many expressed eagerness to implement learnings within their families and communities, underscoring the potential for grassroots change.

Mrs. Thengmay T. Sangma and Mrs. Ruth R. Marak took the lead in coordinating the event, ensuring its smooth execution and impactful delivery. It may be recalled that they were part of the two-day training programme, held on March 12-13, which brought together 45 faith leaders from 17 associations (Krima) affiliated with ABDK from all over Meghalaya to Tura.

The training familiarized church leaders with fundamental ECD concepts, emphasizing the critical importance of investing in the early childhood period. The participants provided positive feedback and enthusiasm post the conclusion of the event. The women asserted their role as agents of change in promoting holistic child development.

One such participant expressed that the training was also useful for those who already have grandchildren and were now better sensitized on how to nurture them with love and tender care as opposed to abusing and scorning.

She further reassured that the women ‘s ministry will take this forward and facilitate interventions. She looks forward to similar programs to enhance learning among other women and mothers.

Another such participant stated that for every Krima (Association) member and mother, the activities under ECD have been meaningful. She especially accorded importance to sessions such as ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.’ She expressed her desire to also take the mission forward and reenact the activities at her level.

It is worthy to note that the ABDK faith leaders have partnered with the Meghalaya Early Childhood Development (ECD) Mission to cultivate comprehensive environments for children and adolescents, alongside nurturing ecosystems conducive to responsible parenting within their communities.

This ABDK Zonal Programme exemplifies the transformative power of collaboration and community engagement in unleashing the full potential of children and advancing their overall well-being.

As participants return to their communities armed with knowledge and inspiration, the ripple effects of this event are poised to create lasting change for generations to come.

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