Children And The Community

The emphasis is that communities matter to children and that all municipalities should play their part to help protect children and support families within their communities.

Children experience and observe a series of relationships in an early childhood setting. Each type contributes to creating a sense of community because each facilitates feelings of belonging, connectedness, and inclusion.

In South Africa, the principles underlying the way of life proposed by Ubuntu (African  Humanism) are transferred from generation to generation through fables, sayings, proverbs, and by tradition through the socialization of children in which the whole community is involved.

Children grow in the context of their community.  The creation of a local community in early childhood becomes the supportive, positive, uplifting foundation of a child’s life. It helps them to learn about themselves. It helps them learn how to tackle challenges, build knowledge, and thrive.

The Blue Roof Life Space in Wentworth is a  youth hub from which a range of services and interventions are provided to vulnerable children, youth, and their families in the surrounding South Durban communities. In line with the broader focus on wellness in all its forms. It is a place that offers friendship and support, health and educational solutions, and creative opportunities to help individuals break out of injurious cycles. 

Empowerment of women is a necessity for the very development of a community since it enhances both the quality and the number of human resources available for development. Women’s empowerment and achieving gender equality are essential for our society to ensure the sustainable development of the community.

WOW, an organization which was started by Patricia Dove and a group of concerned women who felt that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of the disadvantaged people of Austerville-Wentworth, is home to an Early Childhood Development Centre, a feeding project, and an after-school care program.

Patricia Dove of WOW

Mario Quarrie, community health worker, and psychology scholar, postulates that; “Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) affect millions of children across socio-economic lines, putting them at higher risk for health, behavioral and learning problems.

Exposure to ACEs, including abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and parental mental illness, and substance abuse, not only affects brain development. It can change children’s hormonal and immune systems. This can cause behavioral problems, learning difficulties, and physical health issues.

The more ACEs a child is exposed to, the higher the risk of developing chronic illnesses. In children, exposure to ACEs can increase the likelihood of chronic diseases such as asthma. 

Toxic stress response can occur when a child experiences strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity, such as physical or emotional abuse, chronic neglect, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, and/or the accumulated burdens of family economic hardship, without adequate adult support.

Before her sudden death, in May 2019, Blanche Hutchinson of Barney And Friends Educare School expressed her sentiment that ‘no child should be left out of the education system, because of lack.
“The majority of poor children come from families headed by a single female parent, or grandparents. Unemployment is a factor in poverty for some, but many are employed and still live below the poverty line.
Parents of children living in poverty often struggle to provide them with enough quality food and early childhood education. Children living in poverty often come to school without having had enough sleep and without having had breakfast. They often experience family violence, abuse, secondhand smoke, neglect, and inadequate clothing. They may not be able to pay for field trips or other extracurricular activities that might expand their experience base”; she said.

This is a frightening reality for millions of children. Homelessness is another step down the ladder of poverty. It is a very real problem faced by a number of children. Many homeless families live in shelters. With one income and high rent and living expenses, many families are just one emergency away from disaster.

Barney And Friends Learners

She urged the local business community to please come on board and help solve these problems. In 2019 Defy donated much-needed appliances, for which she was extremely grateful.

Ensuring every child’s well-being today is the best way of securing robust economies tomorrow. If we want our economies to thrive, we need a pipeline of human capital that can think critically and problem-solve. The foundations of these abilities are built in early childhood.

By: Lorraine Richards

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