Impacts on Early Emotional Development

I chose the West and Central Africa region to look into on the UNICEF website since I am not very familiar with that area.

According to UNICEF (n.d.) the children in this region are subject to sexual exploitation, abuse, child labor, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases. Approximately 2 out of 10 children do not survive to see their fifth birthday and if they do they do not end up going to school. Averages of 40% of the children do not go to school because of traditional beliefs or poverty. Children who do attend school programs are not safe from violence and abuse. Civil wars end up separating families and children because they are recruited into armies.

Cities and towns grow so rapidly that social services are unable to keep up with the needs of the families. Child protection has fallen to the families because child protection services are grossly underfunded and mismanaged. These experiences can have negative effects on the children’s emotional well-being and development. We already know that chronic stress negatively impacts child development. Schools in this area are slow in improving education because they are in dangerous places and teachers are under-compensated.

Looking through the UNICEF website I realize how fortunate many countries are especially those that are industrialized and whose actions and resources reflect the rights of children. It is frustrating as an educator to see that because of politics the children’s education is being hampered. As I continue to learn about this region as well as other regions I strongly believe that the education and welfare of the children is a global responsibility. Children cannot control the circumstances that cause their living conditions or lack of resources. They need to see that others care so that a sense of equality can be instilled in them so that they can still strive for the best and understand that we should all be there to help the children.



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