ICDP with young people in Tanzania

In the Kibosho area of the Kalimanjaro region a group of young people is being trained in ICDP.

The KIWAKKUKI organization has been working with orphaned children and families affected by HIV/AIDs in the Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania for a long time and some of its staff have gained extensive experience in using the ICDP method in local communities.

The latest initiative by KIWAKKUKI has been to train in the ICDP programme a group of ten young people who had recently come out of school. They were previously trained as peer educators and have since gained experience in assisting school teachers.

The aim of the ICDP training is to enable this group of peer educators to conduct ICDP sensitization meetings with the parents and caregivers of the children KIWAKKUKI is supporting. The plan is to reach 80 parents /caregivers. The ICDP workshop they attended took place in July 2017 over a period of five days and there will be regular follow ups in future.

Photo: ten young people/peer educators attending ICDP training


ICDP Japan news

The ICDP programme has been introduced to caregivers of older people in Japan.

Hitoshi Maeshima is an ICDP trainer and a practicing doctor working in Tokyo. He has recently conducted an ICDP seminar for a group of nurses and caregivers working in a facility for older people (on photo above).

The workshop venue was the home for the elderly called Ensemble (on photo below), which is run by local social welfare services for the aged.  The training started on the 14th of August, 2017.

Hitoshi’s commented:

Recently, I saw on YouTube an interesting film – The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. You can find it on the following link: I think that the socio-emotional learning is partly included in the ICDP process and it was interesting talking about this at the recent seminar.
After the seminar was completed there were positive comments from the participants. Below are comments from two participants that represent the general feedback from the group.
“I saw a positive image rising within me about the ways that we should conduct ourselves and how we should be carrying out our caring duties in relation to the elderly people so that is really good for them.”

“I was very much surprised to discover how the activity of the whole brain significantly increases when we are receiving enough love, whereas the blood flow to the brain starts to run out when there are insufficient expressions of love and as a result the brain begins to fail working well.”

ICDP trainer Setsuko Kobayashi and I will be conducting another ICDP seminar, starting on the 22nd of October this year. It will take place in Hamamatsu. Several directors and caregivers from kindergartens and nursery schools will be attending. After we made a short introduction about ICDP quite a few commented that they were really looking forward to participating in the October seminar and expressed interest in the ICDP topics. We hope to identify a few candidates from this group to become future ICDP facilitators.


ICDP in Ethiopia and Somalia

ICDP finds fertile ground in Ethiopia and Somalia…

Atnaf Berhanu has been active with ICDP in Ethiopia for some tine, and this year (2017) she has started to give ICDP workshops in Somaliland too.

In Hawasa, the ICDP training was started in 2014 and there are groups of already trained facilitators there, although the last group will be certified by the end of November 2017.  In Harar, in Eastern Ethiopia, a group of junior school principals and teachers were also formed as ICDP facilitators, whereas at Sendafa,  30 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, a group of trainee facilitators at the Child Development Training and Research Centre will complete the ICDP process by the end of this year. The response to ICDP in Ethiopia has been positive and many organization, including churches, are interested to continue building capacity and expanding the coverage with the ICDP programme.

In Hargeisa, Somaliland, Save the Children organized the ICDP training of their national staff members as well as of some of their colleagues. After the two workshops that were held there in July and August, the feedback from the participants was good. Currently, the ICDP trainees are in the process of implementing the programme with groups of parents and Atnaf has arranged for a follow up Skype session with them to take place on the 27th of September 2017. The ICDP work in Somaliland is sponsored by Save the Children, an organization that ICDP has been cooperating quite intensely this year, with ICDP programmes currently developing in 5 countries (Somalia, Nepal, India, Burkina Faso and Philippines).


Training visit to the Philippines

An ICDP training workshop for Save the Children staff will take place in Ormoc, at the end of October.

Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) is a project developed by Save the Children Finland in a range of countries together with the local Save the Children offices. The CSSP encompasses child-focused or family-based social programmes that directly or indirectly address children’s needs and rights through a combination of economic support – such as cash transfers to families and children living in poverty – and complementary interventions; and which improve child development as well as ensure that all social protection is child-sensitive, by maximizing impact and minimizing harm on children, girls and boys alike. 

The CSSP project in the Philippines has been funded by SC Finland since 2015. One of the key interventions of the project is based around developing improved caregiving/parenting skills with families who receive a cash transfer from the government as part of the 4PS programme/ the Pantawid. A draft manual with a selected number of modules and sessions related to parenting and child development has been developed in early 2017 and local facilitators have been trained to carry out the sessions.

However, the experiences from India and Nepal of the benefits of working with the ICDP programme, led SC Finland to include the ICDP programme as a cornerstone for the parenting sessions in the Philippines CSSP project too – to enhance and enrich the relationship between caregivers and their children. The ICDP project will aim to identify and reactivate local cultural practices, in order to stimulate development that is authentic, sustainable and long lasting and the ICDP training will sensitize, build competence and confidence in members the existing local child caring system – ICDP will withdraw having transferred the project to the local resource persons.

During the last days of October and early in November 2017,  ICDP will start the training of SC staff and the staff of their partners who will all be working as ICDP facilitators in the CSSP project in the Philippines. The training will take place in Ormoc in the Philippines and Nicoletta Armstrong will conduct the sessions. Two trainee facilitators from the India project, Disa Sjöblom and Neema Pant (on photo above taken at the ICDP workshop held in Dungarpur earlier this year) will accompany Nicoletta. The workshop will provide training and materials for the local team of 15 participants to carry out their first practical tasks. Particular emphasis will be placed on discussing the content of the ICDP messages, the flexibility of the 12 meeting agenda, the application of ICDP in local context, the application of ICDP monitoring tools and on how to roll out the ICDP programme in future.  


New training in Colombia

A new ICDP project is starting to develop in Tebaida, Quindío, Colombia.

Carmen Lucia Andrade, the leader of ICDP Colombia made a presentation of the ICDP programme to the Association of Agricultural Workers of the Tebaida town who afterwards expressed keen interest to participate in the ICDP training. They felt that the ICDP psychosocial programme could play an important role in their organization by strengthening positive relationships, dialogue and good treatment within the families.

The Association of Agricultural Workers of Tebaida was legally formed in 1964 and it is currently comprised of 300 families. Many of the families live in poverty and are vulnerable, some are displaced and others have experienced violence and abandonment by the state. The objective of the Association is to promote agricultural initiatives and to support actions that benefit the families.  For example, these families are currently attending a SENA course in agricultural production (SENA is a national centre for learning). 

In the ICDP project the leaders of the Association will be receiving training as facilitators and through them the ICDP method will be transferred to parents, to help strengthen their caring skills and their communication with children, and to help create family environments where democratic dialogue and peaceful coexistence are practiced. The ICDP training will be given to as many of the 300 families as possible, trying to eventually reach them all. 


ICDP in Tiblisi

Nino Margvelashvili is a neuropsychologist, based in Tbilisi with a vision to scale up ICDP in the future.

Nino works with children with special needs in an international school, as well as doing assessments and rehabilitation courses concerning different disorders, including epilepsy, specific learning disorder, ADHD and other. On behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science she has been working as a trainer for teachers in different regions of Georgia, covering various aspects of inclusion and specific strategies on how to help students in school.

During July and August 2017, she carried out an ICDP pilot project for parents at the Institute of Neurology and Neuropsychology in Tbilisi and soon after that, in early October, she went to London to attend ICDP training by Nicoletta Armstrong..

Nino intends to start training her colleagues and hopes to encourage other organizations in her country to embrace ICDP – she explains:

“I am keenly interested in collaborating with ICDP. I have two children, my work experience is largely connected to children and I can often notice pitfalls in parents’ existing skill repertoire when interacting with children and dealing with challenging situations. During my studies in Oslo (2010-2012) I was fascinated by the importance and simplicity of positive interaction and the ICDP themes. My thesis was about ICDP, positive interaction between teacher and students of different abilities.

I believe ICDP will give a unique experience and provide skills to parents, focusing on their engagement and personal experience. More than that, in ICDP everything is done through love and acceptance of the caregiver and from my point of view this point makes the whole process worthy and valuable. My long term goal is organizing community based ICDP training in order to empower parents in many different parts of Georgia.

In the report by UNICEF and USAID called “Violence against children in Georgia” there is a section referring to the survey “National Survey about Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices”, which states that:
45% of the Georgian population accepts and regards physical violence and punishment as a discipline against “spoiling” kids.
30% of women and 17% of men said yes when asked if they use physical punishment
60% of population thinks that using punishment methods in children upbringing are more effective than using non-violent methods
Society does not know much about the meaning of psychological violence
Children’s interests are ignored – parents or caregivers deprive children’s physical or emotional needs despite having relevant possibilities, knowledge and access to services.
30% said that their parents used physical violence in their childhood.
14-18 year old youngsters think that the possible abuser of child mostly is a parent.
Society thinks that in-family violence against children is family’s business and are against intervention

However, 82% of Georgian population states that violence is a problem that should be ended This shows that there is a will to overcome this problem in Georgia.

Based on the above data UNICEF made several recommendations to the Georgian government and NGOs, and one of them is to launch special programmes and campaigns to make parents use non-violent discipline, encourage positive parenting and introduce alternative methods to physical disciplining; to raise awareness of parents to develop children’s potential. In line with this, I would like to spread ICDP to parents nation-wide. I feel strongly that it is time to try to change the basis of parenting for children’s happier and healthier future. “


Comments from participants of ICDP training at the Institute of Neurology and Neuropsychology in Tbilisi:

My child and I became more engaged in our shared activities; communication is now easier and more interesting for both of us.
Our relationships in the family became more peaceful and balanced; we started to find common ground for problem solving and consequently we now dialogue with each other more.
I became more confident, more aware and mindful, paying more attention to each word and gesture. Thank you.
It’s very important to use the guidelines. I will use it more in my life.
I discovered that we are different from our parents’ generation; we express more love, through close dialogue with children.
I follow my child’s initiative, I discovered that I can do it and that it is important – I should not be the leader but follow the child.
I now know how to regulate behaviour through explanations, giving alternatives.
I understand how important it is to pay attention and show love, have close dialogue and not to be afraid to express love and emotions.
I loved role play, analyzing videos and photos.
I discovered how much meaning I can provide to my child through explanations of everyday objects – my interactions can become more educational and I can increase my own knowledge by guiding my child. 
I have to work on how to console my child. I realized the importance of non-verbal ways of showing love and that details are important.

(Photos above and below are from the ICDP training)


Tokyo workshop

Here are some impressions from an ICDP event in 2018.

ICDP trainer, Hitoshi Maeshima explains:

In October, we held a seminar on the ICDP programme. Unfortunately, a typhoon was approaching Japan just at that time, which meant that several people who had planned to attend were unable to come because of strong winds and intense rain. The attendees included seven women and one man; the age group ranged from 23 to 85 years old; there were caregivers of older people, children’s caregivers and a retired kindergarten director.

At the seminar we showed the Unicef promotional video from Colombia (which is on the ICDP webpage: ). We have translated the English subtitles that appear on that video and in addition most of the English narrations were also translated into Japanese. We felt that this video transmits in a very compact way all the important aspects and the essence of ICDP .

We are planning to have another meeting for facilitators in January. Here are some comments from the seminar:

I had attended ICDP before so this was not my first experience. However it was very refreshing for me and I received positive inner stimulation.
I felt this time more clearly how important our heart is, rather than our mind or brain, when we are dealing with human relationships.
I had a dilemma, as I felt that my behaviour did not reflect what I knew theoretically about building better human relations with children and others, and in that context ICDP felt like an opportunity to change and as a result I felt I had improved.

Until now, I have been trying to find the answer to child care outside myself, but on the ICDP day, I found that the answer might be inside myself – and this I noticed for the first time in my life.
Also, I had been feeling within myself an invisible obstruction preventing me to extend my thinking, but that day, while we were expressing and hearing each other’s experiences from early years to adult life, I noticed that this obstruction comes unconsciously from the frame of a habit of my heart and a particular way of my own thinking. In the workshop, I felt that I had been freed from the weir of my own thought, and to my surprise there were many unexpected observations and learnings, it was really wonderful time to me.
It was my first participation to ICDP meeting. The day was very significant to me. Thank you.


ICDP with children, parents, teachers and grandparents

The ICDP project in Envigado has almost been completed.

During the second half of 2017, an ICDP project took place in the town of Envigado, in the department of Antioquia, Colombia. The support for this ICDP initiative came from the participative funding by the Municipal administration, operated by COMFENALCO. The ICDP Medellin team of facilitators carried out the training, led by trainer Carolina Montoya.  

The training in the ICDP programme was given to forty six people, who were divided in five groups attending separate courses. The principles of the ICDP programme were delivered through a ludic-artistic methodological strategy.

On the 16th, 18th and 19th of November 2017, the ICDP facilitators will be involved in finalizing the ICDP training process in Zone 2 and Zone 10 in Envigado.

Participants were comprised of grandmothers, mothers and their children and also teachers from the urban and rural areas. ICDP was successfully presented for the first time to children and this was done in a playful way through games and narratives – all children participated in a joyful way showing interest in all ICDP topics.


First ICDP facilitators from Save the Children India

In India, a group of Save the Children staff completed their training to become ICDP facilitators.

Save the Children has been developing projects referred to as Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) in a number of countries. CSSP encompasses child-focused or family-based social programmes that directly or indirectly address children’s needs and rights through a combination of economic support but also complementary interventions with the aim of improving child development and ensuring that social protection is child-sensitive.

In the Dungarpur district, India, an CSSP project has been developing since 2011 and this year ICDP was added to it. One of the key interventions of the project is based around developing improved caregiving skills with families that receive cash support from the government for taking care of orphaned children and ICDP is now being used in this context.

The ICDP training has been ongoing since the beginning of 2017 and on the 26th of October 2017 the first group of twelve facilitators received their ICDP diplomas from Nicoletta Armstrong, their trainer (see photo above).

Most of the facilitators are working with groups of parents in poor villages around Dungarpur (see photo below), and two facilitators have implemented ICDP with their colleagues in the Save the Children office in Delhi. The ICDP work has been showing promising results. Some of the facilitators will continue the ICDP process to reach the ICDP trainer level.


Photos from Ormoc

ICDP training for Save the Children staff in Ormoc, Philippines.

Click here to see a photo report.