Covance Inc., a global drug development services company, and CARE, a leading humanitarian organization, announced today that they are partnering to support the Covance-CARE Early Childhood Development (ECD) Initiative for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Rwanda. Covance will contribute to help transform three existing buildings into community day care centers for children ages two to four and renovate two existing nursery schools. Covance will also support the daycare center operations that will provide a safe and secure environment for pre-school children and assist in their physical, emotional, and cognitive development.
A delegation of Covance and CARE representatives visited Rwanda recently to meet many of the community leaders as well as the children and their families participating in this program.
"CARE and Covance share the core belief that education is fundamental in alleviating poverty around the world," said Donald Kraft, Covance Corporate Senior Vice President of Human Resources, who led the delegation with Deborah Tanner, Covance Corporate Senior Vice President and President of Central Laboratory Services. "We are honored to partner with CARE in its efforts to bridge the educational, social, and developmental gap among the most vulnerable children in Rwanda. The dedication and professionalism of the CARE teams in Rwanda are outstanding."
"Our employees have demonstrated a strong commitment to making a difference in these children's lives and contributing to their developmental needs and well-being," said Deborah Tanner. "Together with CARE, we are looking forward to the development of sustainable learning environments that will help empower and shape these children, who serve as the future of Rwanda."
CARE International developed the innovative 5x5 ECD Model, which is being implemented in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda. Its aim is to promote the well-being of vulnerable children below school age and address the significant gap in programming for preschool Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Africa. The model also builds on CARE's strengths in fostering community economic development, OVC support, and child health, nutrition, education, as well as their rights. In Rwanda, CARE International is piloting the ECD project in the district of Kamonyi, which will assist communities to set-up and run three ECD centers for children ages two to four in Musambira, Karama, and Nyarubaka sectors. The organization will also support two nursery schools for children ages four to six in Gacurabwenge and Karama sectors.
"We have been truly impressed with the strong support and commitment from the Covance employees for this important cause," said Elie Nduwayesu, CARE International Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program Manager in Rwanda. "The long-term impact of deprivation in early childhood has been well documented. The majority of children who are not in school in Africa are girls and are more likely to experience abuse, neglect, and child domestic labor. The ECD program will protect these children from all types of abuse and contribute significantly to their healthy development."
Up to 16 percent of all orphans in Africa are under five years of age. An estimated 70.9 million children in this age group are living in conditions of extreme poverty and disadvantage; one out of ten will not see their fifth birthday. The sheer scale and complexity of the problems of AIDS, conflict, natural disasters, diseases, and poverty are eroding traditional support networks and leaving these young children without the care that is critical to growth and development. These vulnerable children face unprecedented threats from arrested cognitive and emotional development, preventable illnesses, malnutrition, HIV infection, and child rights violations. CARE International's objective is to learn from the pilot in order to scale-up the 5X5 ECD model in Rwanda in the near future.
CARE (care.org) is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places a special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity, and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.
About Covance, Inc.
Covance (covance.com), with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive drug development services companies with revenues over the last twelve months of approximately $1.5 billion, global operations in more than 20 countries, and approximately 8,700 employees worldwide. Information on Covance's products and services, recent press releases, and SEC filings can be obtained through its website.