Children for Health builds upon the relationship that older children have with younger children, teaching and caring for the younger child.
Now some people may think, “But isn’t this the role of the parents?”
That’s very much using our western lens.
But the reality is that in a lot of developing countries, sometimes the primary carer of the young children in the family are the older children. The mother is very often looking after the infant and also looking after the economy of the family, maybe farming. She might be involved in a lot of the chores. And the father often away or again, farming, or again, doing the work and bringing in the money. So who is it looking after the toddlers? Who is it looking after the younger children in the family? Very, very often it’s the older child. That role can often feel very burdensome.
Children for Health has recognised that what we need to do is inform that role.
We need to praise and recognise that role because actually older children get such benefit from just having that role recognised by the community and by the family, without actually doing very much else.
But also, it’s in the primary schools when we’re doing the health education, it’s recognising that the teaching, let’s say on washing our hands with soap or washing our hands properly, is an everyday habit that they don’t just need to know for themselves, but that they can use that to help to develop the well-being of the younger ones as well.