The second component to the SPAC approach is to provide Early Childhood Development through local community centers. This approach targets the very young members of the community, seeking to provide them with basic learning opportunities through enjoyable activities through play and song. This approach provides a safe and fun opportunity for kids to be kids while learning fundamentals such as counting, color recognition, manual skills and basic hygiene. Children in rural settings often sacrifice their childhood while accompanying parents in the field while they perform daily labor for family survival. Providing children with a healthy meal, including ingredients grown in the Community center gardens, followed by a few hours a day where they can play and learn in a safe and clean environment, creates happier kids and happier parents.
Protected area management and wildlife protection play key roles in assuring the integrity of large areas of undisturbed habitat. Although many governmental and non-governmental organizations are performing these activities adequately, the people living in and around the protected areas often undermine protection efforts because they do not benefit from these intact and rich habitats. These local communities, which are often excluded from the benefits of their traditional natural resources are often impoverished due to their isolation from commercial opportunities and large urban centers, necessitating time intensive reliance on small scale farming, hunting and gathering by the entire family to meet their basic nutritional needs. In these rural communities basic services such as education and health centers are often lacking and community members often don’t have time or means to take advantage of them when they do exist. This lack of economic benefit and social services often puts community members in opposition to conservation and protection efforts, and threatening the long-term viability of large conservation units. SPAC has adopted two different but linked approaches to deal with these conservation threats.
Early Childhood Development means the process of emotional, cognitive, sensory, spiritual, physical, social, and communication development of children from birth to school-going age. These early years of a child’s life are a time when they acquire concepts, skills and attitudes that lay the foundation for lifelong learning.
Offering children a wholesome Early Childhood Development experience enables them to grow and develop in their full potential. These early years have also been recognized as the ideal phase for passing on values that are important for the building of a peaceful, prosperous and respectful society.