Momentous Institute believes social emotional health is necessary for all children across the world. With this same belief in mind, Family Legacy Missions International, a faith-based organization supporting children and families in the capital city of Lusaka, Zambia, reached out to our staff in 2021 to ask for social emotional learning resources they could add to their schools. Family Legacy serves over 14,000 children in 23 schools throughout Lusaka by providing academic, spiritual, physical, social, and emotional care.
When our Innovation & Impact team met with their Social Emotional Learning team last year, a comprehensive plan was developed to incorporate social emotional health into their services, including the addition of Changemakers as part of their curriculum. Right now, kindergarten - third grade classrooms are already using Changemakers in their schools and a plan is in place to expand the curriculum to all grade levels within seven years! From this addition to their classrooms, teachers were quick to share how students have improved in their attendance, increased their problem-solving skills and self-regulation, and seen positive impact in teachers’ connections with students.
In Spring 2022, our trainers (Dr. Meroudjie Denis, Kelly Richmond, and Dr. Rhonda Vincent) had the opportunity to visit Lusaka. The trip involved three days of school tours and consultations and seven full days of training, with a reach of over 600 Family Legacy staff, including educators, administrators, caregivers, discipleship staff and social services. Seeing first-hand the teachers leading with empathy and joy, while witnessing children use strategies such as breathing, gratitude, the calm down corner and others, affirmed the work Momentous Institute gets to do every day with children.
For the staff in Zambia, social emotional health is prized as important for every person they meet. The experience of seeing this curriculum in action in the Family Legacy classrooms validated what Momentous Institute has valued for over 100 years--- social emotional health is a universal human need and should be prioritized like our friends in Africa have shown so well.