The Episcopal Health Foundation has made a $400,000 grant to Episcopal Relief & Development to strengthen a five-year integrated early childhood development program in Kenya and Zambia. The grant aligns with the mission and commitment of both organizations to support healthy brain development through parental bonding with babies and toddlers.

Moments that Matter (MTM), a program partnership of Episcopal Relief & Development, is also supported in part by grants from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada, along with other donations.

Research shows that early childhood experiences have a profound effect on brain development and on subsequent success later in life. The first three years of life, starting even before pregnancy begins, do more than strengthen the mind and body. They decide each child’s lifelong capacity to grow, to learn, to stay healthy, and to interact well with others. MTM focuses on parent-child interactions that contribute to children’s cognitive, language, social-emotional and motor skills development.

“This grant from Episcopal Health Foundation will help strengthen the early childhood development capabilities of our communities, using Anglican church leaders to mobilize other faith and local leaders and volunteers,” said Felicia Sakala, Country director of Zambia Anglican Council’s outreach programs.

“Episcopal Relief & Development’s early childhood development program has shown success in increasing primary caregivers’ nurturing care and in strengthening their connections to services,” said Anna Steiner, an Episcopal Health Foundation program officer. “The program’s support of strong brain development is helping build a foundation for lifelong health by helping families to implement best practices for healthy brain development.”

“Investing in early childhood development can transform entire communities. I am deeply grateful to the Episcopal Health Foundation for their support of Moments that Matter,” said Rob Radtke, president and CEO of Episcopal Relief & Development. “This grant provides critical funding to our Anglican partners in Kenya and Zambia to help strengthen their capacity for community development, making lasting change that will benefit future generations.”

Adapted from Episcopal Life & Development

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