Thrive by Five16 Dec 2022

KDI and Minderoo Foundation launch global Thrive by Five early childhood development program in Cameroon

The Kalkaba Development Initiative (KDI) and Australian philanthropic organisation Minderoo Foundation today announced the official launch of the Thrive by Five International Program in Cameroon.

Children performing at the launch of Thrive by Five in Cameroon. Photo Credit: Christina Zimmer.

The program was initiated by Minderoo Foundation to raise global awareness of the importance of the early years of a child’s life and to empower parents and significant people in the lives of young children to ensure the best possible start in life for their children.

It has been designed to disseminate content to parents and caregivers through a variety of channels, both digital and non-digital, in their own language and individually tailored to meet that country’s language, cultural and social requirements.

The program is underpinned by three core products:

  • The Thrive by Five App for parents and caregivers of children aged 0-5 years,
  • Supporting Thrive by Five content disseminated via online and offline channels for increased accessibility, and
  • The Thrive by Five TED Talk by Molly Wright on “How every child can thrive by five”, which has become the most viewed Ted Talk of 2021.

Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Minderoo Foundation Nicola Forrest AO said investing in early childhood development had the potential to transform society for generations to come. “Children need nurturing care and playful parenting right from the start in order to support their brain development and future potential. This program aims to give parents and caregivers the knowledge they need during the precious early years – to help children reach their full future potential. The science shows that it’s the little moments of connection and interaction, repeated often and especially during the toughest of times, that can make all the difference.”

Cameroon is the first country in French-speaking Africa to benefit from the Thrive by Five International Program, which is being rolled out in 30 countries.

Her Excellency Pauline Irène Nguene, Minister of Social Affairs of the Republic of Cameroon, said it was part of a wider Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that KDI signed with the Ministry of Social Affairs in June of this year. “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is in line with Cameroon’s new development objectives contained in the 2020-2030 strategy with a focus on human capital to ensure that people in vulnerable situations have the means and skills to live healthy, fulfilling and productive lives.”

Hamad Kalkaba Malbou, President and Founder of KDI said, “A country’s future prosperity lies in the hands of its children. In Cameroon, more than 40 per cent of the population is 14 years old or younger. It is scientifically proven that the first five years of a child’s life are crucial to their brain development, yet many children in our country are unable to attend early childhood education, and many parents do not know how important interactions with their children are for their development. We are proud to launch this program in Cameroon, together with our friends at Minderoo Foundation, to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of the first five years, because we believe that it will help create a better future for the people of Cameroon.”

The content of the Thrive by Five International Program is based on anthropological and neuro-scientific research. It was developed for Cameroon by experts from the University of Sydney, in collaboration with local experts from universities, ministries in charge of Social Affairs and the Promotion of Women and the Family, education and parents.

About Minderoo Foundation

Minderoo Foundation is one of Australia’s largest philanthropic organisations with more than A$2.7 billion invested in charitable causes, ranging from eliminating childhood cancer to improving early childhood education, ending modern slavery and driving accountability in and responsibility for global overfishing, plastic pollution, global warming and the tech ecosystem. Visit to learn more.

About Kalkaba Development Initiative

Cameroonian partner of the MINDEROO Foundation, KDI was founded in 2007 by Hamad Kalkaba Malboum. KDI contributes, alongside the state and other development actors, to the realization of projects adapted to their needs. Its priority areas of action include hygiene and sanitation and economic promotion.
KDI is also a partner of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Women and Family Promotion with whom it collaborates in this project.

Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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