The introduction of RAFIKI Digital Care Assistant (DCA) tool to SOS Children’s Villages Malawi care givers both from the Family Based Care (FBC) and the community-based Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) illustrates the inclusive digital transformation drive that strives to reach out to key care co-workers with vital information and skills necessary to enhance parenting skills for improved child care work.

RAFIKI Digital Care Assistant (DCA) is the new and innovative learning and development tool to accompany and support the caregivers on improving their skills and support to themselves and their families. The tool offers caregivers the opportunity to learn and improve on various care and mental health topics through use of chatbox/artificial Intelligence technologies in the tablet.

Speaking at the orientation meeting, where caregivers were receiving tablets which contain this learning and development tool, Mr. Martin Mboga, a peer educator from Mthunzi wakachere Community Based Organisation (CBO) said he is very excited with this initiative which will enable him access advice on positive parenting and interact with other caregivers in the process sharing experiences about child care work. “The biggest winner of all this is the child. “An informed caregiver is the best, s/he makes important decisions about their children from an informed point of view. This tool is therefore very important in as far as making us better parents is concerned”, he said.

Hellen Nyirenda, an SOS mother from Blantyre Family Based care (FBC) hopes that this good development will later on roll out to every caregiver in the FBC and to some more caregivers in the Family Strengthening Programme.

“While we can share whatever information we are getting from the tool on these tablets, we may not be as accurate as the tool itself, rather we can only share that which is of interest to us, making other caregivers losing out from this very informative tool,” Hellen shares her sentiments.

Key topics that caregivers can access from RAFIKI Digital Care Assistant include; child protection and safeguarding, child development stages milestones, adolescent development, mental health, nutrition in the family parenting skills and child care and so many others.

The RAFIKI the Digital Care Assistant (DCA) is currently being piloted in Malawi, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa. In Malawi, Blantyre and Lilongwe programmes will pilot this project.