ZENID – Play and Learn Project
The “Play & Learn” Project has been developed and implemented in Karak Jordan in cooperation with the Queen Zein Al Sharaf Institute for Development (ZENID) and the Princess Basma Centre for Development in Karak. Zenid is Jordan’s leading national institute dedicated to promoting social development and carries out training courses, research, studies, information dissemination, consultancies, publishes training manuals and does commissioned work.
The targeted area for this project is the governorate of Karak, working with the Princess Basma Centre for Development which is a part of The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Development (JOHUD). This is a national non- governmental organization, active in promoting social work and human development through its (50) Communities Development Centers (CDCs) that are distributed in all governorates of Jordan.
The selected CDC is located in an area of Karak characterized by rapid population growth rate with a high percentage of children, with limited services available for children and nearly no services which are targeted at the whole family.
The need for children of all ages to play forms an essential role in children’s lives and is a key facilitator for learning and development, reflecting the social and cultural contexts in which children live.
The primary objectives of the project are:
- The improvement of early childhood educational services in the selected community based kindergartens.
- The establishment of a fully equipped model “Fun Learning Unit” with a whole range of toys, books, where all children, including children with disabilities could play and learn.
- Capacity building of teachers in issues related to Early Child Education and Integration of disabled children.
- The creation of opportunities for children and parents to play, learn and bond through workshops and community activities.
- Establishing a friendly, fun and informative meeting place where parents children and teachers can experience friendship, support in a productive learning environment.
The program has been developed to provide the children with the opportunity to try a wide range of toys which parents may not able to afford and to promote the importance of play as an essential tool in stimulating a child’s development. In addition an attempt is being made to create a friendly, positive environment where children with disability will have the opportunity to play side by side with non disabled children and so pave the way for their inclusion and acceptance.
The initial stages of the project involve the establishment of a “Fun Learning Unit” which will include a toy library and an arts and crafts center utilizing recycled materials. Future developments include the establishment of a computer unit, and an outreach program offering comprehensive family services.
An important goal is capacity building for teachers, care givers and parents through training programs which provide stimulation, attitudes and insight that support the development of each child’s potential.