A Year of Joy, Hope and Challenge at ICRI

The year 2011 has brought a wonderful array of successes along with a greater knowledge of the needs of children in many parts of the world. 

Around the world, our programs have achieved greater levels of success but we have also seen obstacles to the healthy growth and development of children. Some of our successes:

  • Our UNICEF –funded Water Sanitation Health and Nutrition Project in Kenya reached 60,000 families with water-filtration systems, health outreach and nutrition education. We saw, through this project, the remarkable work of our Kenya staff in reaching families and children in three of the poorest regions in northern Kenya.
  • In Nepal, our National Center on Learning Resources (NCLR) continued to develop child-friendly schools in collaboration with 18 public and private primary and preschools. The work of our amazing Nepali teacher trainers in engaging the hearts and minds of teachers and parents through active participation and community involvement is a sight to behold.
  • In Ghana, we have recently launched a new National Early Childhood Teacher Coalition where those who believe that young Ghanaian children deserve supportive, nurturing, and curiosity-building education can receive training, resources and support.
  • In Zimbabwe, we continue to marvel at the Marondara Early Childhood Center serving AIDS orphans and other community children. Our staff has developed a building that nurtures children and our local teachers continue to create stimulating environments using only found objects and local materials.
  • In India, we are providing more teacher trainings to improve curricula, program delivery and environmental development for children in the Bengaluru and Kolkata areas.
  • Here in the U.S., we are working on articles moving us from research to practice on children’s brain development, international child advocacy efforts, and helping the world to see that they can use found objects and local materials to create high-quality, developmentally-stimulating environments for children around the world. We also welcomed to our ICRI family a bilingual preschool, El  Nuevo Mundo, which serves children in a low-income target area of Richmond, California.
  • In Malaysia, we designed an ECD center for the Central Bank of Malaysia that will serve as a model in the region for many years to come.

Our challenges include the need to refine or expand our work to serve more children, more schools, more families, and more communities more effectively in Kenya, Nepal, Ghana, Zimbabwe, India and the U.S.  We are also working to make our offices and programs around the world to become more self-sufficient by launching local fund development initiatives in each of the countries in which we work.

Our reason for hope is that we see a world where many of us better understand the needs of children and are more ready than ever to work at seeking lasting, sustainable solutions that will promote each child’s health, safety, education and security around the world.

You can help by donating to ICRI and, if you wish, designating a country or project that you would like to support. You can visit our website here to decide which project you would like to assist. You can make your donation by going to this link.

We thank those of you who are already part of the ICRI worldwide family and welcome all of you who want to bring about lasting change that will result in a world where no child is hungry, every child can reach his or her full potential and all those who nurture and care for children will be rewarded for the critical roles they play. We wish for you a joyous and peaceful new year!

For the children,

Ken.