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Developing Inquisitive Young Minds in Nicaragua

Every week, mothers and their children attend early childhood Development classes set up by Plan International in communities in Nicaragua. 

Studies have shown that engaging children ages 0-5 in lively activities improves their physical, emotional, and cognitive development, which, in turn, boosts their future educational performance and provides them with greater opportunities to escape poverty later in life. 

Francis has been bringing her 3-year-old daughter Soomi to the classes for more than six months. 

“The benefits are very important. My child used to be very shy and now she participates and she likes to come. She asks me: Mum when are we going?” said Francis.

“She learns how to do draw objects and color them in. She likes singing so we sing and we read stories together. 

“Now she is more active and she’s getting more creative. She participates a lot. She has also learned how to socialize with the other kids.”

Adalis hasn’t just noticed the benefits early childhood development is having on her 3-year-old daughter Adrianna, but has also observed the changes it has made for her and the other mothers too. 

“At home, as mothers, we are shy, but we come here and have learned so many things, so we are more open,” said Adalis.

“For me, the most important thing is the change I have seen in my daughter. Before, she was so frightened. I couldn’t leave her for a moment. She was so scared, but now she comes here and sings and plays with the other children. 

“I hope she goes ahead and studies and we will be there to support her. I know there are parents that don’t support their children to keep on studying.”

Since attending the classes, Pina has noticed an improvement in her relationship with her 4-year-old daughter, Emily. 

“It’s improved our relationship because I learn from the volunteers how to do the exercises, and now we share more time together,” said Pina.

“We do the activities to help us relax. We do exercises with feet and hands, and massage their heads and backs. What I like about the program is that the children are very happy when they come here, and we are also, because we relax and have fun together.

“Emily sometimes leaves the house if I’m not ready on time. She sets off by herself as she wants to be the first one here. 

“There are some children who suffer from disabilities and were not being taken care of properly, but now with this center, their parents come here too and are learning.” 

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