PAP members visit Early Childhood Development Centre in Lilongwe

On the margins of the ongoing official visit to the Republic of Malawi, the delegation of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) visited the Lipalama Community Based Child Care Centre (CBCC) located in Chiponda village, outside Lilongwe.

The CBCC is run by the community itself through a management committee that was established and trained, and this committee is supported by chiefs from the surrounding villages. The community supports with food provision, making of play materials using locally available resources, and meeting other CBCC needs. 108 children are currently enrolled at the Centre which has seen 500 kids graduate over the last 8 years.

Hon. Bouras DJAMEL, Acting President of the PAP and leader of the delegation said that the visit forms part of the efforts to bring the continental Parliament closer to the citizens in order to better understand their concerns and aspirations, and thus effectively hold the governing institutions of the AU accountable in the implementation of policies and programmes as well as in the allocation and use of public resources for promoting just, equitable and sustainable development for all the peoples of Africa.

“Children are the future of our continent. As the voice of the peoples of Africa we felt compelled, as part of our visit to Malawi, to undertake this tour of the CBCC to take stock of the challenges faced by the Centre in assisting the children and establish how the PAP can contribute to finding durable solutions. It was also very important to assess the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on a facility like the CBCC,” said Hon. Djamel.

Members of the PAP were informed that COVID-19 has had an impact on the operations of the CBCC. Currently the attendance and enrollment number of children has significantly dropped to ensure social distancing while feeding has temporarily been suspended to reduce the hours children spent at the Centre. It was further indicated that food and learning materials are two of the pressing needs of the BCC.

The PAP delegation responded by making a financial contribution towards food provision for the school. The Acting President of the PAP also made a commitment to source and supply learning material for the children to be delivered before the end of the year.

While there the Members of the PAP delegation joined the children and their parents as they ang and danced. These children were happy and smiling and engaging despite all that they have been through.

The Centre forms part of a 10-year comprehensive Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme by ActionAid Malawi and aims to provide quality ECD services to children and improve their lives holistically.