The EKHCDC has been carrying out many education and child care services since its establishment in 1970s. In the first instance, these two development services were not organized under one umbrella as a department. Educational services had been delivered in conjunction with training and community empowerment program activities beginning 1990s. Whereas child care activities integrated and mainstreamed in various EKHCDC development programs’ activities though the extent child activities vary from program activity to program.
Four years ago, following the EKHCDC strategic plan of 2016-2020, the newly devised organizational structure of the EKHCDC allowed these two broad services to jointly form a program called the EKHCDC Education and Child Development program (EKHDC-ECDP). Since October 2019, the structure was revised in order to encompass other different project activities, and thus it took the name of Education and Child Development Department. It envisions ensuring educational access and quality and improved child care among the needy communities in Ethiopia. Its mission is to fulfill the mission of the EKHCDC through systematic and integrated practice-oriented process of providing functional literacy and numeracy, pre-primary and primary education, and holistic child care services for life transformation of communities in Ethiopia. In all its undertakings, the EKHCDC-ECDP is committed to education and holistic child care access and excellence.
Currently the EKHCDC-ECDP has 93 active projects in 90 project sites serving 26190 beneficiaries. These projects are managed under three broad coordinating units. The first one is the Holistic Child Development unit which coordinates 89 active projects that serve 19270 orphans and vulnerable children. Among these, 87 projects are assisted by the Compassion International Ethiopia and they render services to 19085 children in their respective project sites all over Ethiopia. The rest two projects are center-based projects. The EKHCDC Sebeta Children Center offers holistic support to 25 orphans whereas the Burayo Child Development Center provides holistic assistance to 165 orphans and vulnerable in Burayo town.
The kinds of services being offered to these needy children are provision of basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, and education and schooling related supports (educational materials, school uniforms and tutorial services), domestic and socio-economic skills training, sanitation, health, counseling and ethical support services.
Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education is the second biggest unit in the department. The section directly manages three projects in two schools under the direct supervision of the department: the EKHCDC Sebeta Children Center School and the Bobogaya Primary School. The projects support operational activities of the schools as well as provide technical and capacity building trainings to the personnel in order to ensure educational excellence in the schools. Total number of beneficiaries in these schools is 562 students. Besides this, the section provides technical assistance and capacity building training to about 300 church and community schools in different parts of Ethiopia.
The third unit of the department is Functional Literacy and Numeracy. Previously this section had broad operations managing about 80 functional Literacy and Numeracy Centers in Oromia and Southern Nations and Nationalities State of Ethiopia. Almost all of these centers were graduated in a sustainable way having ensured ownership of beneficiary communities. This time, the section continues with implementation of one project in the Sidama Zone of Ethiopia. The project has 105 literacy centers and 502 volunteer facilitators benefiting 6360 children in the project target areas.