Press Statement by Impact and Innovations Development Centre IIDC
20th October 2022 11:30(EAT)
Five child-centred NGO partners led by Impact and Innovations Development Centre, are poised to roll out a five-year major social-cultural norms-change intervention, that seeks to bring Men and Fathers at the centre of child learning and play for adequate early childhood development.
The project dubbed REAL fathers (Responsible, Engaged and Loving (REAL) Fathers) is an evidence-based, community-led mentoring program for fathers of toddler-aged children that teaches positive parenting, non-violent discipline, and early childhood care.
Today we are glad to inform you that The LEGO Foundation has announced ten finalists, IIDC among them, to build implementation capacities for the global Build a World of Play Challenge, that shall focus on promoting bold and impactful solutions for early childhood. On 6th December, the Challenge will award a total of approximately USD $117 Million (DKK 900 million) to selected organizations across the world in order to support substantial contributions to the lives of children from birth to six years old and spark a global movement to prioritise early childhood development.
According to the Executive Director of IIDC Deogratias Yiga, “IIDC is one of the 10 finalists, out of the 627 contestants for the Build A World Of Play Challenge. At this stage, each of the 10 finalists WorldWide has received a USD1m grant from the LEGO Foundation to build the necessary institutional capacity to scale up its model under the World of Play challenge. If selected as an awardee on Dec 6th, 2022, the five year REAL-ECD Scale up project will positively transform social cultural norms around fatherhood to promote healthy child development.”
The REAL Fathers initiative is planned to be implemented in 43 districts across the seven regions of Uganda. IIDC shall undertake this project with four partners including, Somero Uganda; All Nations Child Development Centre; World Education-Bantwana; and Forum for African Women Educationalists, with technical support from the University of California San Diego and funded by The LEGO Foundation.
The grant reaffirms the LEGO Foundation’s commitment in the LEGO brand’s 90th year to ensure children globally are given opportunities to learn through play.
Violence against women and children exerts a serious toll on the health and wellbeing of families across Uganda. Experiencing and being exposed to violence directly interferes with a child’s ability to think and learn and can disrupt the course of healthy physical, emotional, and intellectual development.
Three in four Ugandans report ever experiencing emotional, physical, and/or sexual violence before the age of 18, with violence largely first occurring before the age of 5; and for the majority of survivors, violence was at the hands of a parent.
Existing intimate partner violence and child maltreatment prevention efforts often focus only on women and children, who represent just one part of the violence prevention equation. Without the engagement of men—husbands and fathers, who disproportionately represent perpetrators of violence—true and lasting change in the lives of children will not occur” Mr Yiga further explains.
It is against this background that IIDC together with its partners has chosen to work towards changing the mindset and actions of fathers to ensure responsible parenting and in turn create a safe environment for children.
It should be noted that IIDC and its partners led REAL Fathers integration into Early Childhood Development systems, resulting in government buy-in and scale-up endorsement. Therefore, building on this experience as lead partner for the REAL integration, IIDC will provide leadership and overall implementation oversight, infusing evidence-based learning/adaptation in implementation of the project.
IIDC is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable groups in Africa through promoting evidenced impactful socio-economic development interventions and innovations. IIDC’s current focus is the promotion of a learning and improvement -oriented approach to development programming. We are a learning partner to a cohort of child-rights focused organizations across East Africa in the Learning Initiative on Violence against Children (VAC). We also support development organizations to design and implement development interventions that are impactful, safe for the target group and measurable.
About LEGO Foundation
The LEGO Foundation shares the mission of the LEGO Group: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The Foundation, which owns 25% of the LEGO Group, is dedicated to building a future in which learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. It is through the ownership model, that a portion of profits go to funding research projects, activities and partnerships. In 2021 for example, the LEGO Foundation provided grants of DKK 2.8 billion (USD 443.9 million) to initiatives which help children reach their full potential through play. The LEGO Foundation works in collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents aiming to re-define play, re-imagine learning and equip, inspire and activate champions for play.