What is happening around the world? I have been following the World Forum Foundation web site to gain a greater understanding of events and issue around the world that affect children, families, and the early childhood field. There are many links on this site to help me stay in touch with children around the world. I enjoy reading reports and listening to pod casts from BONNIE’S GLOBAL CAFÉ.
The most recent story Bonnie reported on, was the affects from Cyclone Winston on Analesi Tuicaumia in Fiji. A catastrophic natural disaster like this has an obvious affect on children, families, and early childhood education. They lost many live in the disaster and the entire country was out of power. The UNICEF estimates up to 120,000 children were affected. (UNICEF, 2016) Although efforts are well in place to rebuild and support the communities affected, the long-term affect on children’s development is a concern. This type of toxic stress can have a damaging affect on children’s brain development. Even in the mist of such devastation, efforts are focused on keeping children safe and engaged in learning. (Bonnie, 2016)
Statements made by Bonnie in her report really made me think about the issue of poverty. “Children in our centre were quite safe except our five Mobile kindy communities who live in sub-standard homes and settlements.” (Bonnie, 2016) This is an example of another way poverty affects children. As stated by the SitAn organization, “monetary poverty drives child deprivation” (UNICEF, 2016) Do to poverty some of the families in Analesi Tuicuaia live in more improvised conditions and were not as well protected from the cyclone as others. There is a direct connection between poverty levels and families inability to provide a safe home for their children to grow and learn in a developmentally appropriate manner. I had not thought about poverty from a natural disaster point of view. There are so many aspects of poverty that affect children is different ways as they grow. Without getting the needed support these children will not be able to develop and grow to the best of their ability.
Bonie & Roger Neugebauer., (2016) BONNIE’S GlOBAL CAFÉ, World Fourum Foundation, Connection Center
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting,