Thrive By Five app officially launched in Afghanistan to boost early learning

Afghanistan’s largest private philanthropic organization, The Bayat Foundation, on Tuesday officially launched a new early childhood development (ECD) initiative, which was broadcast live on Ariana Television.
The initiative, in the form of an innovative mobile phone application, Mano Kodakam, is aimed at increasing awareness around the importance of a child’s early years, and empowering Afghan parents and caregivers to give their children the best start in life.
The initiative was warmly welcomed by not only doctors and psychologists in the country but also by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Ministry of Public Health.
Mohammad Hassan Ghiasi, Deputy Minister of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Public Health, attended the launch and stated the app was in line with Afghan culture and values.
He pointed out the benefits of the app for children including the positive psychological impact it will have on them.
He said the new application comes at a critical time in the country’s history, as there is a need for “repairs” to the country’s “cultural infrastructure”.
“Afghanistan is a country that has gone through four decades of problems and war and our cultural infrastructure has been kind of destroyed and needs to be repaired, and we need to be careful during our repairs,” he said adding that “during our repairs we must be cautious that we minimize the psychological damage to our next generation as much as possible, and I think this app (Mano Kodakam) is the beginning of that start.”
Zakaria Barakzai, a psychologist who was also present at the launch, said: “In the past, many parents thought their children had autism and did not know why their child did not talk until the age of four … fortunately, all these problems have been considered in this app.”
Barakzai also pointed out how important it was to stimulate a young child.
“If a child acquires courage, wisdom, awareness, and in some cases patience, this can only be found through playing, so that is why we recommend playing with children in their first, second and third years; but in the area of play, if they need help, or a partner, fortunately the app that was created can cover all of these issues.”
According to Aisha Stanikzai, a journalist who has familiarized herself with the new application, parents are often too busy to spend much quality time with their children.
“Most of the time, parents are busy and can’t take good care of their children, and by giving toys to their children, they think they have taken care of their children, but they do not realize what their child really needs,” she said.
“Parents should communicate with their kids to really know what their child needs, and the creation of such an application can be important in the part of communicating with their children and in the part of guiding parents on how to communicate with their children.”
Mano Kodakam – an innovative approach to early childhood development
Named ‘Mano Kodakam’, this innovative application aims to inspire parents and caregivers to have more frequent, quality interactions with children and improve their behavior by highlighting do-able and desirable actions such as simple activities like “peek-a-boo” that are scientifically proven to have a significant impact on a child’s development.
Bayat Foundation Executive Director, Mrs. Fatema Laya Bayat, stated: “Children need nurturing care and playful parenting right from the start in order to support their brain development and future potential. Mano Kodakam aims to give Afghan parents and caregivers the knowledge they need during their precious early years. The science shows that it’s the little moments of connection and interaction, repeated often and especially during the toughest of times, that can make all the difference.”
The app has both Dari and Pashto versions available for free on both IOS and Android operating systems, and is accessible even on lower tech, older mobile devices. Much of the core information will also be made available via a range of channels including social media, SMS, radio, television, as well as, in print and digital media.
“Every Afghan child, no matter where they live, has a right to the best possible start to life,” stated Bayat Foundation co-founder, Dr. Ehsan Bayat.
‘Mano Kodakam’ content is based on in-depth anthropological analyses of global parenting and community norms, gender roles and parenting roles, as well as the specific religious, cultural and environmental factors of Afghanistan.
The Bayat Foundation worked in partnership with Australia’s Minderoo Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre to ensure the most advanced neuroscience and the practices of child-rearing were merged with Afghan traditions to create an environment that will help each Afghan child to reach their maximum cognitive and emotional potential.
To download the app visit: www.thrivebyfive.comThe post Thrive By Five app officially launched in Afghanistan to boost early learning first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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