We had the simple idea that if we get mothers to play more with their children, it would help the children’s brain to develop and they would catch up with their fortunate peers.
– Christine Powell, Senior Lecturer, University of the West Indies
- More than 20 years ago, researchers in Jamaica sought to boost stunted, disadvantaged children by teaching their mothers to stimulate them using talk and play.
- An impact evaluation allowed researchers to measure the programme’s effectiveness by comparing beneficiary children with similarly disadvantaged children whose mothers didn’t get the programme.
- The children have been tracked ever since and the results have been remarkable. Watch the video below.
The simple two-year intervention laid a strong foundation for:
• Increased cognitive and social skills
• Higher grades & reduced drop-outs
• Higher earnings
• 98% of the children were employed at the age of 22
• 94% were empowered to break the cycle of poverty with full-time jobs
• Reduction in anxiety and depression