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MMUST’s iHELP Project Featured as an Outstanding Community Social Innovation at the 27th Global Biennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal

The Inclusive Home-Based Early Learning Project (IHELP) has been featured as an exceptional community social innovation. This recognition happened during the 27th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (ISSBD) which took place from June 16th to 20th June 2024 in Lisbon, Portugal. The project was picked for its outstanding impact in providing cost-effective and sustainable quality Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for marginalized children in Ikolomani Sub-County, Kakamega.


 Dr. Rose Opiyo and project partners from CUBA and Canada.

The project Principal Investigator (Kenya)- Dr. Rose Atieno Opiyo, Senior Lecturer at the School of Education and the Coordinator (Strategic and Institutional Planning), engaged both African Developmental Scientists and the international audience by showcasing her academic contribution to Early Career Scholars. She was participating in a Panel discussion and Symposium after having won a competitive scholarship grant.

IHELP is a community-led project implemented in Kenya alongside other sites in Uganda and Zimbabwe for the last 4 years. It has successfully brought together communities to engage in income-generating activities and self-organized empowerment programs for women besides transforming children's upbringing in the rural areas.


Dr. Rose Opiyo making a presentation at the 27th Biennal Conference.

The IHELP project established in 2021 operates accessible, reliable and affordable child care and family services, allowing underserved rural caregivers to engage more productively in farm and mining labor. Regarding sustainability, IHELP has established a Village Savings and Loaning Schemes (VSLA) approach where groups engage in income-generating activities to boost food security in the model centers.  All the IHELP centers are now fully registered by the Ministry of Social Development. This has been possible through capacity-building efforts in three critical areas: Nurturing caregivingSmall Enterprise Operations, and Group Leadership.


One of the IHELP income-generating projects.

ISSBD is committed to supporting research that facilitates a deepened understanding and improvement of positive human development across the lifespan in diverse contexts around the world. Undoubtedly, MMUST’s IHELP project was a good fit for the ISSBD initiative. Its hybrid approach to early learning has truly encouraged teachers and parents to support home-based early learning, particularly for students with disabilities.


By Linet Owuor

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