Comfort Maduakoh

Ashoka Fellow
Nigeria,
Fellow Since 2001
International Child Care Organization

Citation

This profile was prepared when Comfort Maduakoh was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Realizing the potential of education to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, Comfort designs centers in which poor children and their mothers receive education that allows them to live fuller, healthier lives.
Childcare facilities are not new; they exist in most urban centers in Nigeria. Comfort's idea, however, is novel in four ways. First, her centers emphasize education as a major component of responsible childcare. Second, her centers target children of the rural poor, a grossly underserved population. Third, the centers focus on health care for children and mothers alike. For example, centers organize and keep children's immunization records, in addition to other health information. And finally, Comfort's design ensures widespread community support. Communities provide physical space for the centers and contribute resources for their upkeep. The children's mothers volunteer as helpers, thereby keeping down operating costs and intimately engaging them in their children's learning.
Comfort intends to use the centers as a springboard for introducing primary healthcare training for mothers because she believes that children's illnesses, which contribute to the stunting of their educational development, are mainly due to the mothers' ignorance of sound healthcare practices. Comfort's model is replicable in poor rural communities across Nigeria and beyond.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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