About dancing penguins and their hopes for the future

Yesterday, on the second day of the IWitness trip, we visited early childhood development (ECD) centre PAUD BINA PUTRA III in Leuwiliang, in the mountains west of Bogor.

Children’s laughter gave us a great and happy welcome. Picture by Tim Rohde.

To honour us, the children prepared a song and crafted some paper flowers as a welcome gift. Then, we danced the “penguin dance” together. At 37°C it made us sweat quite a bit!

This particular ECD Centre is funded privately as well as by the community of Leuwiliang, which has only received limited support from the government until now. This project is among 100 ECD Centres in the district that will potentially be supported by UNICEF in the coming years.

Kristina and Jörk enjoying a snack together with the teachers. Picture by Tim Rohde.

During a little snack with the caregivers, we got more information on the facts and situation around the establishment. At the moment 22 kids from three to six years old are being supported by four teachers. The mothers are helping, too.

The centre is located in the private home of its owner, Dela Busih (fourth from left). There are no other alternatives.

IWitnesses, teachers, villagers and kids all want to be in the picture.

After a while, more and more people from the village came to watch and meet us. In the coming years, UNICEF and the IKEA Foundation will potentially support the centre with training and consultation. The headmaster says this kind of support can make a significant change for the centre, as UNICEF is known for having great experience at enabling teachers and caregivers.

They are a great hope for the future of this centre and the whole community.

The support is really necessary! Many things need to be done. The few old toys and playing facilities and the lack of education of the caregivers require a lot of attention. Picture by Tim Rohde.
The ECD centre won the first prize at a fashion competition.The kids and their mothers had crafted a dress made solely from old plastic materials. How wonderful! Picture by Tim Rohde.
We had plenty of time to play with the kids and take lots and lots of photos as a memory for us and the kids. Picture by Kristina Moeller.
They all wanted a photo with Kristina. Picture by Tim Rohde