Dr. Karlee Silver visited RTCCD this Monday May 13th 2019 to discuss the Saving Brains Initiative. The Saving Brains Initiative, that is funded by Grand Challenges Canada, is an international project that seeks to find bold and innovative solutions that allow for a child’s full potential to be developed! RTCCD’s Learning Club Model on the first 1000 days has been working with Saving Brains since the start of the program in 2013. Dr. Karlee Silver was eager to hear about the efforts and success of the Learning Clubs in Ha Nam Province.
Dr. Silver visited RTCCD during her busy week of meetings and conferences in Hanoi. Her visit focuses on ‘Science, Technology, and Innovation Week’ that is occurring in Hanoi. The week was celebrated with a conference on Wednesday where Dr. Silver talked about the innovative nature of programs like Learning Clubs. In our meeting, we discussed how the Learning Clubs are welcomed by the young parents at the Ha Nam province. The participation rate by pregnant women stayed still at 89% in the first 3 modules, but the participation rate of women’s life partners increased from 33.7% (module 1-2) to 40% (module 3) and that of baby grandparents doubled from 21% (module 1-2) to 47% (module 3). Family found the learning club sessions useful and practical. We also discussed how the Learning Clubs are changing the lives of the children, which should be considered the biggest advancement of all. Psychologist, Dr. Bich Ha, talks about the changes that the Learning Club intervention makes on a child’s life. She speaks about bullying and harassment in school nowadays. She describes that things like not being potty-trained can lead to children being bullied. This, of course, leads to negative impacts on the children’s education. However, with intervention, parents are raising their children with a strong foundation to succeed. With this strong foundation, children are able to flourish in their education and their lives!
Dr. Karlee Silver was interested to hear about the difference in childcare behaviors between the intervention and control cohort. It seems that parents in the intervention cohort played frequent stimulation with their children in comparison to those in control cohort. Fathers in intervention cohort also shared house chore and payed attention to their wives’ emotion at higher rate than those in control cohort.
The meeting also discussed the excitement that surrounds the book sales in and around Hanoi. The book series “Nuôi Con Không Áp Lực” has already sold 111 copies, and more copies are in stores. She was very excited to learn that the project-produced family books (volume 1 and 2) were presented on the national television VTV3 and the project video clips were professional and interesting. This exciting advancement shows the prominence that the Learning Club project has both in the research sector and in the public markets. Dr. Karlee Silver’s visit will be followed by another Grand Challenges associate coming in June. Julie McDowell, who works with Dr. Silver, will come to help RTCCD and partners develop the sustainability and business side of the Saving Brains initiative.
Dr. Karlee Silver is the program officer for maternal, newborn and child health for Grand Challenges Canada. Her progressive and innovative work has led the way for the Saving
Brains Initiative. It was an excellent meeting having Dr. Karlee Silver sit down with the RTCCD staff of the Learning Club program and the National Trainer Team. Members included Dr. Bich Ha, Dr. Phuong, Dr. Hien, Dr. Thuy, Dr. Lan, Tran Thi Thu Ha, Tran Thi Cam Tu, and Kate Callery. The discussion provided an opportunity to reflect on the success of the program as well as look forward to the amazing work that continues to be done.