‘Show me how to draw a circle. Can you do it?’ said the mother.
‘Potter’ carefully draws a circle on a piece of paper with a pencil. Although his circle is not as perfect as the sample in his mother’s hand, the drawing proves that he can do it. This is part of the ‘Surround the House with Love, Play with Kids’ activity that promotes children’s age-appropriate development.
Besides Potter and his mother–Rattanaphorn, ‘Title’ and his mother–Supatjit, as well as many other children in the neighbourhood, have spent time playing together right here at Rattanaphorn’s house during weekends.
Rattanaphorn is a volunteer of the Go Baby Go Parenting Programme who opens her house to conduct the project’s activities. This initiative has been implemented by World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT), in parallel with the work run by the Ministry of Public Health, to enhance parenting knowledge and capacitate parents, resulting in reduced burdens of doctors at the sub-district health-promoting hospital and allowing them to spend more time with other clinical practices. Through these activities, parents have been equipped with intensive knowledge and gained experiences in caring for babies to ensure their age-appropriate development.
Miss Sawittree Sopha, or ‘Dr Am’, the public health technical officer at Hua Mueang Sub-district Health-promoting Hospital and a committee member of WVFT’s Child Well-being Promotion Network in Mueang Pan Project, Lampang province, talked about the work of health volunteers who serve as home-based early childhood development facilitators, based on the Go Baby Go Parenting Programme: ‘After joining the group-process training, Rattanaphorn has proved to be a capable facilitator. She has moved the ‘Surrounding the House with Love’ activity from the sub-district health-promoting hospital to her home; it is closer to and more convenient for the kids and parents. The kids have regularly played with each other at home. All she does is just adding some learning tools, such as toys, storybooks, flashcards, and colouring pages that make the playing beneficial for child development’.
Moreover, Dr Am reflected how she felt about WVFT’s Go Baby Go Parenting Programme: ‘It has tremendously alleviated the clinical work. Child development monitoring is part of our work which is always loaded. I’m thankful for such a good project that provides us with useful tools to improve our work in the community. More children have been reached and heard. There are knowledge and experience sharing to encourage more appropriate parenting and better responses to children’s needs’, said Dr Am with a smile.
Aside from the ‘Surrounding the House with Love’ activity, Dr Am, as well as representatives from the Child Well-being Promotion Network, has exchanged her opinion with Dr Kleo-Thong Hetrakul, Chairperson of WVFT’s Board of Directors, and Dr Sarawut Rachasrimuang, WVFT’s National Director, along with many members of Board of Directors who have joined the field trip to visit Child Sponsorship Programme in Lampang province.
In this trip, WVFT’s Board of Directors has also visited Hua Mueang Sub-district Child Care Centre and helped distributed lunch to children. ‘We’ve been financially supported by World Vision in many areas, namely, clean drinking water, hand washing and tooth brushing facility with dental care kits, student canteen, and caregiver training on how to make learning materials to enhance child development. Thank you’, Mr Mongkhon Prakopkan, Director of Division of Education, Hua Mueang Sub-district Administrative Organisation, mentioned the support from WVFT that has reached young children in the child care centre to promote their good health and nutrition and ensure children’s standardised learning.
Beyond the Hua Mueang Sub-district Child Care Centre, WVFT’s Board of Directors has also visited Ban Kluai School and handed educational necessities, knowledge-supplementing books, and bicycles to students who live far away and do not have any vehicle to come to school. The board has also seen the exhibition on the solutions to child illiteracy and paid a home visit to Ton-or, a child supported by the Child Sponsorship Programme at Mueang Pan Project, to give her moral support, as well as a bicycle and storybooks. Because the family faces many problems, Ton-or is supported to gain age-appropriate development and become happier.