Learn To Play, or Ithute Go Tshameka as it is known in our home country, is a non-profit community development organisation that provides high-quality, scalable and sustainable early childhood solutions in the most vulnerable communities across Botswana. Learn To Play operates in rural, disadvantaged communities where poverty is high. Most children don’t have any exposure to early childhood education. The Learn To Play training empowers 6 marginalised mothers in each area to establish Community Initiated Playgroups that are child-centred, age-appropriate and culturally relevant, forming a bridge between children’s community life and formal education. Each community receives a ‘Playgroup in a Box’, containing everything that a team of mamapreneurs needs to run their own playgroup: a daily curriculum; a low-cost resource development guide; stories, charts and other learning tools – which are all available in both English and Setswana. Mobile technology is fundamental to our success. As some of our community playgroups are in rural communities with great distances from where we are based, we use mobile technologies to collect and collate our data for monitoring and evaluation purposes. This includes timesheets, attendance records and curricula related content as well as marketing. We are able to use payment options such as Orange Money to send and receive money when we need to. Early childhood interventions for children under five should not be a luxury.
More than 200 million children under 5 fail to reach their potential because of poverty, poor health & a lack of early stimulation. Learn To Play addresses this gap.
High quality, integrated and holistic programmes like Learn To Play can deliver a 13% return on investment per year, i.e. better outcomes in education, health, social behaviours and employment.