INTERNATIONAL CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
When families are uprooted through social changes, migration, catastrophes, children losing their parents or having been numbed by severe deprivation and emotional shock, childcare can falter.
The International Child Development Programme (ICDP) aims to strengthen and enrich relationships between children and those who care for them. Susila Dharma Britain is providing assistance to expand these programmes in countries such as Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay and the Ukraine.
New branch in Panama
Most recently, ICDP has been invited by an NGO in Panama to help them change the way that parents and children interact and grow together, and Susila Dharma Britain is providing funding to support their work together.
ICDP has entered into a partnership with “Movimiento Nueva Generación” (MNG, which means New Generation Movement). MNG was founded to help young people to find a useful purpose through sport and other activities, and to keep them away from gangs. Now they run social, cultural and sports activities for young people. They work to protect young people and emphasise the prevention of violence through promotion of ethical and moral values. The vision is to create opportunities for education, socializing, sport and culture for children and adolescents as a basis for their development and a better future life.
ICDP has been brought into the MNG to work in their children’s centres and train staff. The staff will apply ICDP as part of their daily work, i.e. in their daily interactions with children. They also envisage using ICDP with parents, by offering ICDP workshops through their Escuela para Padres (School for Parents), and later on they hope to train other interested parties outside their own organisation.
The New Generation Movement runs six centres in Panama and these are attended by children and young people. The state offers some support to their programmes and they cooperate with UNICEF.
One of their centres for young children (three and four year old) is attended by 300 children, whose mothers are out at work all day; the children are left at the centre from 7:30am till 4.30 pm. They also have a centre for children 5-18 years old, who attend the centre after school to do homework and to receive lunch. There are several programmes for young people, providing a space for them to establish dialogue, explore different topics and engage in some positive activities. In addition, they also run a school for parents (Escuela para Padres), and they offer education as well as some material help to parents.