Work and vision for Ethiopia
Atnaf Berhanu Kebreab is continuing her work on spreading the ICDP programme in Ethiopia single handed.
Training of the third group of facilitators (on photo above) in Awasa started in February, 2018 and continued till October 2018. ICDP was very well received and the new facilitators said that seeing the child as a person, playing and talking with their children has changed their relationship with them for the better. In the Ethiopian culture to play with a child is to lose authority and respect. But the facilitators said this was not the case for them - after practicing “seeing the child” as a person it changed their perception. They explained that as a result of their improved interaction, their relationship with their children is much better now. Their children became happy and more peaceful at home.
In addition to practicing ICDP with their children, the facilitators have already recruited and worked with 50 parents. There were positive responses from many participants. Here is an example of the effect on one mother, who said that prior to the ICDP programme she used to think that her parental responsibility consisted only in providing food, clothing and taking her child to school. After attending the ICDP group she explained: “My relationship with my children is different now. I discovered what seeing a child as a person means; how to show empathy and love, the power of touching. I know how to focus and explain about things. I have learnt new things that I did not think about before.”
Atnaf held a workshop for a new group of facilitators (on photo below) in Harar from 3 - 5 May, 2018. The participants were engaged and showed keen interest in the ICDP programme, particularly when they discussed about the caregiver’s conceptions of the child. On the second day of the training a participant mother told the group that she had asked forgiveness from her daughter. She told her story: “My daughter is a very active child and tends to ask many questions at school; the teachers called me several times because of this; they told me that my child asks too many questions. I was annoyed with my daughter because of this and whenever my daughter asked for a hug after school I used to refuse it, saying that she was not a good girl. After the very first day of ICDP training I realized what I was doing to my daughter, so when I got home I asked for her forgiveness. I told my daughter that she is a very clever girl and that she should not stop asking questions whenever she does not understand something.”
On 27th of October 2018, Atnaf held an ICDP sensitization session for 150 participants. The participants were members and representatives of several local organizations and churches who expressed interest to have ICDP introduced in their own settings.
“In Ethiopia 42 % of the population (about 46 million) is under 15 years of age. The country is trying to change the attitude of youngsters, to help them learn to value each other as worthy individuals, to show respect to one another, instead of fighting. In this context ICDP is very relevant as it can help parents establish meaningful conversations and dialogue with their children early on, developing in their children respect towards others and teaching them to explore their different ideas through dialogue. The Lutheran church in Ethiopia is interested to apply ICDP and they have applied for funding to their partner in Norway. If they manage to obtain funding we will start working together on a strong programme for Ethiopia. “ – Atnaf Berhanu Kebreab.