Every society has its stressors. Children everywhere face challenges that can ultimately make or break them. Growing up I watched my sister learn how to cope with her hearing impairment. At the age of two my parents noticed she was not responding to loud sounds like the clashing of pots and pans or soft sounds such as them quietly calling her name while standing behind her. They soon found out she had 25 % hearing loss in each ear. Over the years she went on to losing up to 75% of hearing in each ear. The little she had left was later taken away from a condition called Meniere’s disease. Although my parents were told she would never make it in public schools they enrolled her anyways. My sister relied on the use of her hearing aids to pick up what little noise she was able to. We took sign language lessons, but stopped shortly after starting because she did not like the attention it brought her. Overtime she withdrew from all things social. She coped with her hearing loss by fully dedicating herself to academics and running. She taught herself how to read lips in order to communicate with others. She never hung out with friends. Instead she enjoyed being at home and being alone. She graduated 3rd in her senior class in high school and with honors in college. Although she is now teaching 3rd grade and married she still withdraws from social activities. Family holidays and get togethers often result in her not coming or her leaving shortly after arriving. Even at the age of 25 she is still learning how to cope with not being able to hear.
One of the organizations I have always been very interested in is called Invisible Children. I first learned about their mission to help the children in Uganda when I was a freshman in college. The children in Uganda are daily facing the stress of war and violence. For over 23 years now children have been abducted by the Lords Resistance Army in Uganda. They have been forced into military training. They have been forced to watch other children be murdered, ordered to kill others, beaten, forced to drink urine, given to men as wives, and much more. Broekaert, Derluyn, Schuyten, & Temmerman (2004) shared a study that looked into the lives of former children solidiers. Within this study statistics were given to share how may of the soldiers had experienced some of the aforementioned conditions. They found that most of the children had substantial psychological problems after making it out of the conditions they were in. Sadly, they were also faced with little support from community because of the killings they committed to their own people while being forced to work for the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Broekaert, E., Derluyn, I., Schuyten, G., & Temmerman, E. (2004). Post-traumatic
stress in former Ugandan child soldiers. The Lancet, 363, 861-863.
The Invisible Children organization strives to raise awareness about the displaced children in Uganda. Even today children are still being abducted during the night and forced into military. Invisible Children are demanding changes starting here with out own government in the United States. Although the Ugandan Government is trying to stop this their efforts are falling short because of their own involvement in this war. I highly encourage you to visit http://www.invisiblechildren.org to learn more about how you can help!
http://www2.invisiblechildren.com/videos/3765611 Click here to watch the video