Project Description

In May 2014, OSISA funded two officers from its local implementing partners, Church Forum and Bantwana Initiative, to participate as Global Leaders in the World Forum for Early Childhood in Puerto Rico. Every two years the World Forum Foundation for ECD brings together a number of young people actively involved in ECD campaigns and interventions in their local countries, to share information with other young people and learn from experienced ECD experts from all over the globe.

These global leaders are then assisted with capital to begin ECD advocacy projects in their various countries. In Swaziland, The Swaziland Network for Early Childhood Development (SNECD) was born from this initiative by the World Forum in partnership with OSISA and it was officially launched in November 2014. The Network was established to coordinate Early Childhood Development (ECD services in Swaziland).

Goals and Objectives

In an effort to provide preschool early learning opportunities and ECD-related services within the home and community, SNECD has developed materials and methods to raise awareness around the important of ECD, and promote positive parenting and learning through play. The overall goal of the initiative is to increase both the child’s readiness for school as well to create a nurturing environment to help them get the best the best start in life. The initiative aims to: Provide parents and caregivers with information about ECD and parenting skills to increase their awareness and knowledge of the importance of child development, gain skills for promoting early learning opportunities, as well as promote positive health, safety and nutrition practices.

Provide teachers in ECD with additional information, skills and tools to enhance the quality of teaching/learning methods and materials, and foster linkages/partnerships between school and home Create or strengthen community ECD forums and networks in disadvantaged communities to promote, ECD awareness, collaboration, and better outcomes for kids. In an effort to achieve these goals Swaziland Early Childhood Network has developed several tools and interventions:

  • An ECD Parenting Manual: 5-day training
  • A colorful ECD Poster with Key ECD messages for caregivers
  • An ECD Caregiver Workshop Manual: 1-day Workshop
  • A Parent Support Group Manual
  • A Leanring through Play and Development Training Manual with training
  • A special Play Box that contains age- appropriate books, toys and puzzles


    Hold Community Dialogue Meetings
  • In order to increase number of children in the ECD centres, this project will conduct community dialogues

  • Support establishment of Parents support groups of Children with special educational needs
  • Working with the parents of children and youth with disabilities

  • Promote professional development
  • In order to build the capacity of civil society organizations with ECD programs, the project will facilitate trainings in selected communities in the country

  • Conduct National and Regional Meetings
  • SNECD will facilitate meetings both at national level and regional level to facilitate coordination of ECD services at both levels

  • Conduct Centre based ECD Trainings
  • This project will endeavour to promote the learning through play concept in the various centres.

Organizational Challenges

  • Only 21.6% of children in Swaziland access some form of pre-school education prior to entering the formal school system.
  • Lack of training and skills among ECDE teachers to adequately lead classes and inability of teachers to be accepted into national training programs due to insufficient education background: teachers are typically secondary school graduates or even high school dropouts, and thus are not typically able to enrol in formal teacher training programs.
  • Lack of parents understanding of the important role ECDE plays in a child’s lifelong learning and development.
  • There is a shrinking of donor base
  • There are few ECD specialists in the country
  • There is no approved national ECD curriculum
  • Donors may want to influence agenda of the network
  • High stigma in issues of disabilities affect our work with children with special needs
  • Different stakeholders have different interests
  • ECD centres are poorly coordinated
  • Distance to ECD centres is still very high
  • Drought has affected many households

Strategic Goals

    The network has the following goals:

  • To promote ECD throughout Swaziland in order to increase access to quality ECD service for all children in the country.
  • To create a platform for exchange of ideas, information and strategies in order to increase knowledge and improve practice in ECD.
  • To promote research in the area of early childhood development; and dissemination and utilization of such research; linking members with global trends in ECD.
  • To strengthen capacity building of civil society organisations and ECD stakeholders.
  • To promote inter-sectorial collaboration and partnerships between ECD stakeholders including civil society organisations, government ministries, training institutions and ECD centres.
  • To establish links with various existing coordination structures at national, regional and international level.

SNECD Board Members

Dr Irma Allen

Founding member/Vice Chairperson

Dr Allen, is an international consultant, and develops policies and educational materials, including ECD. She has served as Chair of the Swaziland Environment Authority and SOS Children’s Villages, Swaziland. She is also Steering Committee member of the Nature Action Collaborative for Children of the World Forum for Early Care & Education.

Mr Colani Magongo


He is also a board mentee of the World Forum on Early Care. Mr Magongo holds a degree in Management from the University of Swaziland. He provides leadership functions to the Network, facilitating meetings and representing SNECD in various forums. Magongo is also working wity the Church Forum on HIV and AIDS.

Dr Qhing Qhing Dlamini is a medical doctor and public health specialist with over 35 years of experience in maternal & child health/public health. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree from the University of Natal in South Africa and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of California, Berkeley, USA. She works as a Health Development Consultant in the African Region and beyond. Dr Dlamini has worked in several senior management positions in the Ministry of Health, Swaziland, where she retired as Director of Health Services, and over the years with several international agencies and development partners. She has also worked for the World Health Organization as MCH/FP Adviser based in Zimbabwe and for the Commonwealth Secretariat, London as Special Adviser and Head of the Health Department. Dr Dlamini serves in several Boards including the Family Life Association of Swaziland (FLAS), and the Swaziland Network for Early Childhood Development (SNECD).

is a board member and holds a Master’s degree in Education Management from MSU-Zimbabwe, a Bachelor’s Degree in adult Education from the University of Swaziland and Advanced Diploma in Project Management from ICM-UK. Mrs Dlamini has worked with the Lutheran Development Service doing development work, UNICEF as Programme Assistant, Edugate as the Project Manager and currently with Mothers to Mothers as ECD Programs Manager.

is a board member. Mrs Mtshali studied Social Science and is a World Forum global leader for young children, a core founder and has close to 20 years of experience working on Children and Youth Programs and ECD in particular. She has worked for The Council of Swaziland Churches, World Vision, and Mothers to Mothers and Bantwana Initiative. She has also served in the Church Forum for HIV and AIDS Board of Directors.

is a member, is a mental health nurse. Mr Mamba works with the International Mental Health (IMERSE) as the Executive Director. Mrs Elizabeth Mkhabela- National Coordinator.

List Of Officers

List Of Volunteers