Several NGOs, in collaboration with the government, held “My Good Husband, My Smart Children” event last week to promote nurturing care from both male and female caregivers for children from before birth until age 5, to help them thrive and reach their full potential.

This second targeted campaign was an Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) Activity, led by RTI International, Helen Keller International and Safe Haven, in collaboration with the government. It was supported by USAID.

“The aim of the event is to promote equal participation from men and women in raising children, to help them meet their critical cognitive, linguistic, socio-emotional, and physical developmental milestones,” said John Ames, country director of RTI International.

“My Good Husband, My Smart Children” is designed to challenge gender stereotypes by promoting the idea that men can also provide childcare. The campaign encourages both gendered guardians to take turns caring for children, in order to prevent burnout.

The Nurturing Care program supports the Royal Government of Cambodia’s efforts to provide nurturing care and improve nutrition for all children, including the most vulnerable, starting from before birth, according to a press release issued by The Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) Activity.

“It addresses gender inequality, prevents stunting and increases early identification and intervention for children with developmental delays and disabilities, starting from before birth to age 5,” said an IECD press release.

Nearly 200 individuals gathered at Kampong Kdei High School in Siem Reap province on April 8 for the event after the first public event was held on April 1 at the Heritage Walk Mall in Siem Reap.

“The implementation of these behavior change communication activities will create opportunities for the full participation and support from people at all levels to promote a more inclusive community,” said Sin Norm, director of the Provincial Women and Children Consultative Committee (PWCCC).

“Our goal is to ensure that all young children, regardless of their abilities, have access to high-quality care and development support from both parents, male and female caregivers, families, and communities, which will enable them to reach their full potential,” he concluded.