The area of the world I chose was Central and Eastern Europe Commonwealth of Independent States. I chose this region because I have traveled to a country within this region. The country of Turkey is very close to my and my husband’s heart. We hope to one day move there to live. It is a dream of mine to teach in Turkey. Therefore, when I saw Turkey listed under this region I was instantly intrigued.
Children in this region of the world are facing hardships of many kinds. They are encountering hunger, poverty, and poor education.
In Romania there has been a substantial increase in the population. Therefore the prices for food has drastically increased. This has resulted in an increase in the amount of poor people. UNICEF reports that the children are the ones impacted the greatest. Children are experiencing substantial hunger. Because of this increase in poverty children are also experiencing abandonment, institutionalization, and dropping out of school. Children are being forced to live and work on the streets at a very young age.
Just this past month the first Early Childhood Center was opened in Serbia! Despite the numerous amounts of centers we have here we forget that there are countries around the world that still are not able to provide that for the children of their nation.
In 2007 it was reported that 958,000 children in the country of Turkey between the ages of 6 and 15 were involved in economic activity. Out of that number 124,000 of these were not attending school
These experiences can leave children feeling unwanted and unworthy. Children facing poverty are often less healthy than other children. Therefore they experience poor development over the years and often experience much sickness. They are forced to grow up far too early in life and loose their chance on being a child. They have to make adult like decisions from a young age in order to survive. Children that experience abandonment often struggle with feelings of not belonging and poor self worth. They have trouble making connections and relationships with people later in life. Children without proper education have a harder time finding jobs to sustain themselves later in life. Therefore the lack of education can result in struggles with poverty. It is like a vicious cycle that never ends.
This really gave me some substantial insights on children around the world. Far too often I forget to focus on children outside my realm of being. Children around the world are still suffering greatly. It makes me realize I need to do more with the children I teach to help educate them on some of the struggles other children have. There are numerous organizations such as Books for Africa that have been started by children or teens to specifically help children around the world. As an early childhood professional I need to do a better job advocating for ALL children. Further I need to include the children I work with on projects in which we can together help children around the world! This week the insights I have gained on the poor education and poverty crises children are facing has really made me start thinking how I can help and make a difference!!