A story of success and holistic progress in Suhodoll, Mitrovica
Meet Erson (4) and his brother Taulant (6). They have been enrolled at the Early Childhood Care and Development centre which opened its doors in September 2018 in Suhodoll, Mitrovica where for the first time such a preschool education has been available. The timing could not have been better says Arjeta, their mother: “In my opinion, opening this center was a very good thing because as of then, I was having doubts as to where to take my boys, since we live in Kroi i Vitakut a neighborhood in Mitrovica North which is quite far from the only public kindergarten in Mitrovica and we would not have been able to cover the cost of a private kindergarten at all”. The brothers Behrami have been a regular part of the educative and care activities offered at this centre.
Ever since Erson and Taulant were registered at the ECCD centre in Suhodoll, Arjeta has been taking them to the activities every day, walking 2 km distance on foot while Erson’s and Taulant’s father pickes them up from the centre.
In one of their first classes, Arjeta was positively impressed how well-equiped the centre was and especially with the educator’s and community mobilizer’s approach. Arjeta stated that “the educator left me a great impression with the way she communicated with children and how she allowed children to express themselves freely and make them feel included in the group”.
During their time at the centre, Erson and Taulant have benefited a lot, in terms of socializing as well as learning new information which has shaped their behaviour for the better. “When Erson first started coming at the ECCD centre he didn’t even sit with others, however, I started bit by bit encouraging him to participate more. When I gave him drawings, he refused to draw anything, however I kept encouraging him through continuously working with him, and enabling him to draw the things he likes most and now not only he draws but he even asks for drawings as homework” said educator Xhylieta.
“Even in the aspect of socializing with others since Taulant and Erson have been coming to the ECCD centre in Suhodoll they have benefited a lot and have become more independent."-Arjeta (mother)
The time Arjeta spends at the ECCD centre in Suhodoll has been beneficial for her as a mother, especially through mother-toddler sessions where mothers together with their children learn about different topics related to childs’ health, education e.g. nutrition, impact of technology, importance of breastfeeding etc. “Since the time I was informed about the mother toddler sessions I have only missed one session”. One session which has left an impression to Arjeta was the impact of technology in early childhood. Since that session, she states that she saw the need to make a few changes ”after that session, I restricted the use of ipad from Erson and Taulant, and let them play ocassionally. However, they are also more aware now and are more focused on toys.”
Children itself are very attentive and these sessions have helped them identify healthy patterns. Arjeta passionately mentioned an example: “In the nutrition session, Taulant heard what foods are healthy and since then he never eats processed foods like salami or chicken pate, chips and mostly eats fruits and vegetables over doughy foods like pies, or desserts. He’s very aware now, and I like that very much!”
Taulant since September 2019, has began first grade at the Primary School in Suhodoll and is doing very good academically. According to the educator, the primary school has seen a more than 100% growth in students since the ECCD centre opened its doors. “After the center opened this number grew more than 100% with 9 children registering on the first grade. I hope that next year the number will be even greater.”
The Early Childhood Care and Development centre in Suhodoll is one of four centres that offer early childhood education services to children 0-6 which have been made possible with support from Ferrari Foundation through the project “Improving the Access and quality to Early Child Care Development (ECCD) which is implemented by Save the Children in Kosovo.