GC-DWC receives $200,000 award to implement learning framework for an ECD toolkit in Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan and Mexico

The Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child (GC-DWC) at the University of Notre Dame has received a $200,000 award to develop a learning framework for the ‘Nurturing the Spiritual Development of Children in the Early Year’ Toolkit

Led by Arigatou Foundation, the Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence developed this toolkit ​​to help equip faith actors in the promotion of children’s holistic well-being by supporting parents, caregivers, educators, and communities to nurture children’s spiritual development and take an active role in addressing violence in early childhood. 

Global estimates say that almost 300 million children between the ages of 2 and 4 experience violent discipline, such as physical punishment and psychological aggression.

The toolkit equips faith-based organizations to strengthen protective factors for child development by nurturing children’s spiritual development; addressing beliefs, social and cultural norms; and reducing practices that condone violence against children to develop child-centered and violence-free environments.

“The spiritual development of children in the early years is not only an under invested and under prioritized area in childhood development but also an often not understood and conceptualized area of human development.” said Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director of Arigatou International. “The work of the Consortium is a unique and critical contribution to develop a better understanding of what the spiritual development of children is and how we can work together with religious and spiritual communities as well as civil society and international organizations to integrate it in child protection, early childhood and parenting programs.”

Starting in August 2023, the toolkit is being piloted in four community-based programs in Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, and Mexico. The GC-DWC will support this initiative as a technical measurement partner, leading the development of a Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Framework for implementation as well as building the measurement capacity of the broader consortium. 

"We are excited to partner with the consortium to develop a novel learning framework for the betterment of children and their families," said Neil Boothby, the founding director of the GC-DWC.