The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) conducted the second launch event of a targeted campaign headed by the Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) Activity with the aim of supporting young children to thrive and reach their full development potential. Nearly 200 individuals gathered at Kampong Kdei High School in Siem Reap province for the event of this Behavior Change Communication (BCC) campaign.
The IECD Activity promotes Nurturing Care from caregivers, including both men and women, for children starting from before birth through age 5. The IECD Activity is led by RTI International, with its partners Helen Keller International and Safe Haven, in collaboration with the Royal Government of Cambodia. This event follows the first launch event organized at the Heritage Walk Mall in Siem Reap on 1 April 2023, with over 170 families from neighbouring districts joining.The BCC Campaign has been designed to support the Royal Government of Cambodia’s efforts to improve holistic developmental outcomes for young children by promoting Nurturing Care, addressing gender inequality, preventing stunting and increasing early identification and intervention for children with developmental delays and disabilities, starting from before birth to age 5.
Mr. John Ames, Country Director and Chief of Party for the IECD Activity, RTI International, said: “The aim of the event is to promote equal engagement and participation from men and women in raising children, to help them meet their critical cognitive, linguistic, socio-emotional, and physical developmental milestones.”
The event was held under the theme of “My Good Husband, My Smart Children” aimed to challenge stereotypes by advocating that men can provide equally good care to children as women, and that caregivers can take turns to caring for children when one needs to take a break. The event also highlighted the importance of responsive caregiving and early learning that help children learn, grow and thrive.
H.E. Sin Norm, Director of Provincial Women and Children Consultative Committee (PWCCC), said: “The implementation of these behavior change communication activities will create opportunities for the full participation and support from people at all levels to promote a more inclusive community. The goal is to ensure that all young children, regardless of their abilities, have access to high-quality care and development support from their both parents, male and female caregivers, families, and communities, which will enable them to reach their full potential.”