Fall 2013 Vol. 1, Ed. 1
Mission Statement Grassroots is a journal founded by Borderless World Volunteers that immerses its readers in the complexities of development studies, as seen through the lens of undergraduates in the field. As an open access journal, it provides an interdisciplinary forum for research and reflection on global development issues, as well as on recent innovations in development policy and practice. Grassroots publishes student academic articles, informative pieces on innovations in the field of development, and analytical pieces on development issues, controversies, and policy debates.
Table of Contents
Turkish Honor Killings in Germany: the Origins and Practice and the Causes behind its Continued Pervasiveness with Turkish Immigrants By Azzura Lalani
One Size Fits All: God and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Universal Declaration of Human Rights By Sarah Firestone
Opportunity in Development Theory; Beyond the Impasse By Gijs Leenders
Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are Not for Sale: A Book Review By Elizabeth Cauley
Living with Disability in Haiti By Victoria Bragues
The Travels of a T-shirt and a Curious Consumer By Victoria Wan
The Impacts of Formal Pre-Schools on the Social And Edcuational Development of Ghanian Children By Renaud Comba
From the Editors: A grass root is, by definition, the groundwork upon which growth is allowed to take place. Right below the surface and beneath the visible blades of grass, nurturing and keeping them alive, are the simple roots that sustain and create growth. It is then only at the grassroots where one can truly come to understand the fundamental principles of a matter, and effectively respond to its challenges. The next pages will immerse their reader in the intricacies and questions of development studies. Through the outstanding work of undergraduate students at McGill University, a myriad of issues ranging from questions of globalization, gender, and education, to religion, economic advancement, and social responsibility, will be addressed. In each article, the realities of millions will be portrayed, and the proposed solutions to their challenges analyzed. This collection denotes the talent, creativity, and social commitment of its contributors. It is thanks to their efforts and passion for creating change that such an engaging and enlightening work could be realized. We hope that you enjoy the Fall 2013 issue of The Grassroots journal, and that you find it as intellectually stimulating as we do.
Sincerely, Sara Espinal Henao Editor in Chief
Margot Frazier Assistant Editor
Turkish Honor Killings in Germany The Origins and Practice and the Causes behind its Continued Pervasiveness with Turkish Immigrants By: Azzura Lalani
Women around the world experience violence in varying degrees, committed by various perpetrators. However, most violence women experience is committed by men. According to Amnesty International, “At least one out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime” (Amnesty International, 2010). Specifically, many women experience domestic violence, which is “a pattern of behaviour used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence, when one person believes they are entitled to control
another” (National Coalition on Domestic Violence, 2009). Domestic violence is similar to another form of violence against women, honour killing. However, according to Joan Smith, a human rights activist: ‘Honour’ crimes differ from domestic violence in several significant ways, and pose special problems for the criminal justice system. They are usually planned in advance and often involve fathers, uncles and brothers acting together to enforce strict codes of conduct, with varying degrees of approval from other family members. Few perpetrators
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' believe they have done anything wrong, and they may be supported in this view by relatives who were not actively involved in the crime (Onal 13-14, 2008). According to United Nations Reporter Asma Jahangir, “on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions” worldwide, honour killings are on the rise (United Nations Population Fund, 2000). Turkey, a nation intent on becoming a European Union member, has had a lot of external attention drawn to it because of honour killings. The country’s feminists have been waging a battle against domestic violence since the 1980s, but they have little to show for their efforts (Arat 119, 1998). Many Turks have immigrated to Germany, and, despite a change in culture and environment, honour killings persist. This paper seeks to find what circumstances in Turkey allow for the practice of honour killings to continue and be accepted, and which of these circumstances, if any, exist in Germany. It is argued that Honour killing committed by Turks continues to be prevalent in Germany because of its deep cultural roots, poor efforts to integrate Turkish people into German society, poverty, and a lack of education among Germany’s Turkish population. Turkey provides a link to both the East and West. As a result of its unique location, the country possesses a mix of cultural, political, economic and environmental traits from Europe as well as Asia. In 2005, it began its quest to become a member nation of the European Union. However, before that can comes to be, Turkey must conform to Western European standards to a greater extend, which implies that it must revisit its Eastern influences (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010). This is creating a clash between the modern, European society found mainly in the capital of Istanbul, and the “semi-feudal, traditional, agricultural
economy” of the country’s villages (Ilkkaracan 66, 1998). Honour killings in Turkey are so pervasive in the culture that in 2006, the concerned government created a special parliamentary commission to further investigate these crimes (Women on the Frontline, 2008). Despite this, there are very few details and statistics on this type of crime because, until recently, its legal ramifications were minimal. Even today, many honour killers in Turkish communities are treated as heroes for ‘protecting’ their families’ honour (Onal 94, 2008). Turkey shares a special modern connection with Germany. “Between 1961 and 1973, nearly 800,000 Turkish workers were […] recruited […] by European employers.” The majority of these immigrants went to Germany, and “nearly 80 percent of [them resided] in West Germany” (Sayari 88, 1986). Since then, the workers and their descendants have grown to become one of the largest ethnic groups in Western Europe. Germany is a European Union member nation located in Western Europe. It is a developed country with a very strong industrial and social service system. Germany has a literacy rate of 99% for both men and women. Both sexes are treated equally and are given equal opportunities (Central Intelligence Agency, 2010), but despite this, the country’s Turkish minority has maintained its patriarchal mentality to a large extent. The persistence of honour killings committed by Turks outside of Turkey, in an entirely different culture, is somewhat unique to Germany; Forty-five cases of honour killings perpetrated by Turks between 1996 and 2004 were committed in Germany (‘Honour Killing’ Brother Jailed, 2006). A little fewer than three million people, or about 3% of the German population, are Turkish. This makes Turkish immigrants “the second most numerous immigrant group in the
country” (Erlich, 2005). However, according to the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, Turkish people are the most poorly integrated of all immigrants in Germany despite their very high population in the country. When Turks migrated to Germany during the 1960s, they came as guest workers from the Anatolian plains, with the goal to return home after their contracts ended. As such, little effort was made at the time to integrate Turks to German society. Unfortunately, the situation for the Turks was complicated. Political changes in Turkey made it difficult to return home, and so many stayed in Germany. However, Germany’s economic miracle ended in the 1980s, and many factories were closed, leaving the Turkish population stranded. They lacked both the education and the grasp of the German language necessary to obtain other employment. Consequently, an overwhelming number of Turks began to rely on the welfare system, creating animosity among the German public (Erlich, 2005). This reliance on the welfare system continues at present. Many Turks “survive on state benefits” and a large percentage of Turkish women are housewives because they are unable to obtain employment. Furthermore, a significant portion of Turks in Germany are not well educated, and as a result, this minority has low employment rates. “20 percent of students of Turkish origin do not have a school [diploma, which would allow them to attend university] and only 14 percent pass their final secondary school examinations,” which are similar to International Baccalaureate exams or Advanced Placement exams that are taken at the end of thirteen years of study (DW Staff, 2009). Low employment is also partially the result of a lack of fluency in German, but more significantly, according to Turkish journalist Ayse Onal, “there is a striking correlation between honour-based codes and a reluctance
to educate girls and young women, which results in girls failing to finish their education and getting married at an early age” (Onal 17, 2008). A lack of education results in a reduced ability to find employment, and forces girls to stay at home. Furthermore, Turkish immigrants tend to isolate themselves, as seen by the high rate (93%) of intermarriage that currently exists in the Turkish community (DW Staff, 2009). In addition, as a result of low employment and low rates of education among Turks, even “third and fourth generation immigrants of Turkish descent still [speak] Turkish on the street,” indicating an exceptionally high lack of integration (Erlich, 2005). The German government’s policies have done little to help Turks find employment. Historically, Germany has had […] restrictive citizenship policies, and […] citizenship matters […] in Germany for employment access. Until the early 1990s, naturalization was nearly impossible for those without ancestral ties to Germany. […] Citizenship matters more in Germany, because access to public-sector, civil-servant positions, is restricted to E.U. citizens.” (Kesler 747, 2006). Thus, while the majority of jobs require German citizenship, since Germany does not allow non-EU immigrants to have dual citizenship, Turks have to choose between the two nationalities. At present, only 700,000 Turks have German citizenship, leaving the majority without it, and consequently without access to many jobs (The New Berliners, 2010). As a result, many Turks are selfemployed. Yet, even meaningful employment
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' fails to make Turkish immigrants feel at home in Germany. Sahes Tascioglu, the owner of a bridalwear store in Germany, immigrated to the country with her family when she was fourteen years old. She has lived in the country for forty years. Yet, she says: “I don’t feel that I’m at home here, that’s clear. I’m a foreigner and I’ll remain a foreigner” (The New Berliners, 2010). The lack of an effort on the part of the German government to integrate its immigrants in even the most basic ways forces Turks to maintain their Turkish identity over the identity of their adopted country. This Turkish identity tends to be illiberal and, in many ways, contrary to the German identity. Given the higher propensity for honour killings to prevail in states with large Muslim populations, it is easy to assume that honour killings are encouraged in the Quran. Many perpetrators of this crime are erroneously under this impression as well. Bahri, a man in prison for killing his sister, stated in an interview, “I’m innocent in the eyes of Allah” (Onal 165, 2008). This could not be farther from the truth. Tahira Shahid Khan, a professor at the Aga Khan University specializing in women’s issues states that There is nothing in the Koran, the book of basic Islamic teachings, that permits or sanctions honour killings. However, the view of women as property with no rights of their own is deeply rooted in Islamic culture (Mayell, par. 10). According to Ozcan Mutlu, a Turk on the Berlin city council, even in developed, secular nations, honour killings are treated differently and receive lighter punishments from murder because the murderers attempt to justify their actions “with the culture, the traditions and with the religion”. Mr. Mutlu goes on to state that, “There is no cultural or religious excuse for beating women, and there can be no less
punishment for honour killings. But in Germany it was the fact in the past years” (Furlong, 2005). Although the Quran does not support honour killings to any degree, the overwhelming perception of both Muslims and non-Muslims is that it does, and this perception is used to take advantage of a court system that is fearful of appearing intolerant. Furthermore, Turks are “a closed community” that does not speak about honour killings to the authorities (Women on the Frontline, 2008). In doing so, they protect the men guilty of such crimes, creating a situation where honour killing is encouraged, or, at the very least, handled privately.
There is no cultural or religious excuse for beating women, and there can be no less punishment for honour killings. The value that Turks place on the opinions of neighbours, family and friends plays an enormous factor in deciding to kill for ‘honour’. In Onal and Smith’s “Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed,” a man who committed an honour crime is interviewed and describes why one is driven to kill saying: “You lose all respect in the eyes of society and feel oppressed. You feel very lowly among them, as though you’re something inferior, insignificant” (Onal 71, 2008). Similarly, the profound influence that this man’s Turkish community had on his decision to kill is frightening because Turkish immigrants typically live in close-knit communities. “Complicity by other women in the family and the community strengthens the concept of women as property and the perception that violence against family members is a family and not a judicial issue” (Mayell, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20 02/02/0212_020212_honorkilling.html). As a result, without a collective change in their
mentality, or a decrease in ethnic enclaves, there is little indication that these killings will stop. Furthermore, education rates in Turkey are dismal, especially for women. However, when women are given an education, higher rates of empowerment and self-determination are seen. In Turkey, 45.8% of Turkish women have no education, 33.5% only have a primary education, and 60.8% of monogamous marriages are arranged by the family. Of these marriages, 45.7% of the brides’ opinions were not asked, 50.8% of the marriages were arranged without the brides’ consent, and 51.6% of the brides hadn’t met their husbands before marriage. The fact that most marriages are not a result of a choice on the part of the bride is a cause for dissatisfaction, potentially leading to infidelity and running away, a few of the many causes of honour killings. This is significant because the situation in which these brides find themselves in Turkey is not all that different from their situations in Germany (Ilkkaracan 72, 1998). In contrast to uneducated Turkish women, Turkish women with more education are more likely to expect to arrange their marriage themselves (52.1% of women who had completed primary education, and 88.7% of women who had completed secondary education and above said this). Unmarried women with less education do not see themselves arranging their own marriages (57.4% of women who had an incomplete primary education or no education at all, 46.6% of women who completed primary school, and 9.3% of women with secondary school and above felt this way). A survey in Germany found Turkish immigrants’ mentalities “remain rooted to the values of their homeland”, indicating a lack tolerance, and a lack of freedom (James, 2009). The importance of these statistics and survey is that they show how denying women an
education is used to subjugate them, and strip them of the freedoms that ordinary German women take for granted. In order for Turkish immigrants to escape the oppressive Turkish culture they come from, they must all be educated (Ilkkaracan 71, 1998). However, the statistics also indicate hope for Turkish girls and their families, especially since education is mandatory in Germany. Girls with the freedom to marry whom they choose are less likely to elope with a man, run away, or be caught having premarital sex – several main causes of honour killings.
We have nothing except our honour. If we lose that, it’s the worst thing that can happen to us. The problem of honour killings in Germany is exacerbated because girls are still forced to dress conservatively, and wear the hijab. In his book Sororicide/Filiacide: Homicide for Family Honour, G. Kressel’s, states: In Arab Muslim culture, the honour of the patrilineal group is bound up with the sex organs of its daughters, and a specific term, ird combines the two. Maintenance of group honour means continuous supervision over daughters’ movements by provision of all their subsistence needs so that they will go out of the house as infrequently as possible (and, when they do, dressed to the maximum) and provision of all their feminine needs to make them immune from temptation (Kressel 142, 1981). This creates enormous pressure on immigrant girls, as they are exposed to a completely different lifestyle from what their parents enforce at home. A 1999 survey of women in predominantly Kurdish south-eastern Turkey found that 74 per cent of rural women believed
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' that their husband would kill them if they had an affair. “When such families move to […] countries such as Germany […] they bring their traditional codes of behaviour with them and exact terrible punishment if their daughters, sisters and wives do not display total obedience” (Onal 10, 2008). As a result, these girls find themselves leading a double life, or longing for a different life with the same freedoms, rights and privileges they see their German counterparts enjoying. The result of this is a Turkish woman in Germany who wants to fully integrate with society through freedom of dress and social interactions (particularly with boys), but is held back by a family still deeply rooted in Turkish traditions. On the other hand, Turkish boys in Germany, who were born and raised in the country, still hold a deeply patriarchal mentality despite appearing completely integrated in terms of dress and language. A bureaucrat from Berlin admitted a mistake in the approach to integration: “Her staff focused so much attention on the empowerment of immigrant women and girls that no one bothered to reach out to their brothers, fathers and uncles” (Dvorson, 2008). When a group of boys were asked by a journalist whether they would kill their sisters for having sex before marriage, they insisted that they would kill the couple, their reasoning being: “We have no money. We have nothing except our honour. If we lose that, it’s the worst thing that can happen to us” (Dvorson, 2008). Similarly, according to an anonymous social worker in Berlin who runs a secret centre for girls who have run away from home to escape arranged marriages," All these girls, who come to us are locked in, in the house, by their families. They only go to school because they have to by law - otherwise they wouldn't be allowed. They have to stay at home and cook, and care for the sisters and brothers. The parents don't accept that the girl decides anything by herself" (Furlong, 2005). Thus, the
mentality of Turkish immigrants towards their daughters must change if the number of honour killings is to go down. The pain caused by honour killings is not limited to women. Men, specifically the perpetrators of the crime, can also suffer. Often, families elect the youngest son of the family to commit the murder so that his sentence will be lighter (Onal 35, 2008). This places immense pressure and guilt on the murderer, making him a victim of the crime as well. Murat, a man in prison for killing his mother said when interviewed, “You’ll ask, has your honour been cleansed? No, it’s much worse now. I’ve become a murderer. I’ve murdered my own mother. I’ve lost my entire family and all of my friends” (Onal 74, 2008). The failure to recognize the consequences of the crime is also a persistent factor. According to Zaynab Nawaz, an assistant in the women’s human rights program through Amnesty International, "Females in the family— mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, and cousins— frequently support the attacks. It's a community mentality” (Mayell, par. 9). To kill for ‘honour’ is something decided by a whole family, this suppresses individual or diverging thought and makes it difficult to pinpoint the true murderer. The conditions that Turks experience in Germany are remarkably similar to the conditions and lifestyle they experience in their homelands. These conditions of poverty, a lack of education, little female empowerment, and a patriarchal, tribal mentality are what allow honour killings to perpetuate in society, and as a result, the move from Turkey to a more liberal, Western country has done little to change the commonality of honour killings among Turkish people. The solutions to honour killings start with changing the mentalities of Turkish immigrants to Germany, as well as the mentality of Turks in general. Turkey’s desire to become a member of the European Union is slowly creating
changes in how it deals with honour killings. For example, in 2004 the country increased the penalty for honour killings to life imprisonment, but making the legal consequences of honour killings more severe has not appeared to impact their frequency significantly. Similarly, the Hurriyet newspaper in Turkey is now running a campaign against all forms of domestic violence (including honour killing) and, while education is vital in beginning to change the tribal mentality, the change is slow. The tribal mentality remains, especially when underlying causes of honour killings such as a lack of education are left unresolved. According to Fatma Shaheen, the Chair of the Turkish Parliamentary Commission on Honour Killings, “men’s understanding of ‘honour’ regarding a woman’s body must change. During their formative years, they are taught that protecting their families’ honour is their duty. If something occurs which offends this ‘honour’, they see it as part of their masculine ego to put it right” (Women on the Frontline, 2008). In order for Turkish women to be truly considered equal to Turkish men in Germany, men too must be empowered. They must cease to be chained to archaic, bloody customs simply on the basis of protecting their ‘honour’. Turks in Germany have been very poorly integrated into German society. The causes of this lack of assimilation began in the 1960s, but its problems prevail in German society today. The barbaric and tribal custom of honour killing persists, despite Turks leaving their homeland because the German government has not spent enough time integrating men into German society, as seen in their firm belief that their honour is paramount to all else. The continued patriarchal mentality of Turkish boys and men remains, despite them no longer living in a patriarchal society, placing undue pressures on Turkish girls and women to cover their bodies, and conform to an oppressive lifestyle, to accept the possibility of arranged
marriage, serving the men of the family, bearing children and taking care of the home. This lifestyle is in direct contrast to the lifestyle of Turkish girls’ and women’s German counterparts, and creates a deep divide, further hindering integration. Not only are the victims of honour killings victims, but so are the murderers, who are often forced into killing to protect their honour and to appease family and neighbours. The inability of Turks to gain citizenship of both Turkey and Germany forces most of them to abstain from acquiring the German nationality, leaving them vulnerable as non-citizens because of their inability to hold a variety of jobs (among other things), resulting in poverty. Lastly, Turkish immigrants continue to speak mostly Turkish, even three or four generations after arriving in Germany, indicating a language barrier, which also prevents employment and education. Many of these issues have their root in Turkish culture, but have managed to embed themselves in the Turks’ adopted country due to poor integration. If these issues can be resolved, honour killings should cease to be a concern of Germany, and Turkish women should find a safe haven in the developed, liberal nation. -Works CitedArat, Y. "Feminists, Islamists, and Political Change in Turkey." Political Psychology 19.1 (1998): 119. Print. Dvorson, A. "German Rescue from Honour Killing." BBC News. The British Broadcasting Corporation, 28 Feb. 2008. Web. 5 Nov. 2010. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_ own_correspondent/7268701.stm>. DW Staff. "Study Shows Turkish Immigrants Least Integrated in Germany." Dw-world.de. Deutsche Welle, 26 Jan. 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2010. <http://www.dwworld.de/dw/article/0,,3975683,00.html>. Erlich, A., "Germany's Second Doubts About Its Turkish Immigrants." History News Network. George Mason University, 11 July 2005. Web. 6 Nov. 2010. <http://hnn.us/articles/12640.html>. Furlong, R., "'Honour Killing' Shocks Germany." BBC News. The British Broadcasting Corporation, 14 Mar. 2005. Web. 5 Nov. 2010. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4345459.stm>.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' "Gemany." The World Factbook 2010. Central Intelligence Agency, 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/geos/gm.html>. "'Honour Killing' Brother Jailed." BBC News. The British Broadcasting Corporation, 13 Apr. 2006. Web. 5 Nov. 2010. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4905758.stm>. Ilkkaracan, P., and Women for Women's Human Rights. "Exploring the Context of Women's Sexuality in Eastern Turkey." Reproductive Health Matters 6.12 (1998): 66. Print. Ilkkaracan, P., and Women for Women's Human Rights. "Exploring the Context of Women's Sexuality in Eastern Turkey." Reproductive Health Matters 6.12 (1998): 71. Print. Ilkkaracan, P., and Women for Women's Human Rights. "Exploring the Context of Women's Sexuality in Eastern Turkey." Reproductive Health Matters 6.12 (1998): 72. Print. Kesler, C., "Social Policy and Immigrant Joblessness in Britain, Germany and Sweden." Social Forces 85.2 (2006): 747. Print. Kressel, G., "Sororicide/Filiacide: Homicide for Family Honour." Current Anthropology 22.2 (1981): 142. Print. Mayell, H., "Thousands of Women Killed for Family "Honor"" Daily Nature and Science News and Headlines: National Geographic News. The National Geographic, 12 Feb. 2002. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/0 2/0212_020212_honorkilling.html>. The New Berliners. Dir. J. Lipkins. Perf. Sahes Tascioglu. The Local: Germany's News in English, 2010. Slide program.
Önal, A, and Smith, J. "Introduction." Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed. London: Saqi, 2008. 1314. Print. Önal, A., Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed. London: Saqi, 2008. Print. "The Problem." National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2009. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. <http://www.ncadv.org/aboutus.php>. Sayari, S., "Migration Policies of Sending Countries: Perspectives on the Turkish Experience." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 485 (1986): 88. Print. "The State of World Population 2000." UNFPA. United Nations Population Fund, 2000. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. <http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2000/english/ch03.htm l>. "Stop Violence Against Women." Amnesty International USA - Protect Human Rights. Amnesty International USA, 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. <http://www.amnestyusa.org/violence-againstwomen/stop-violence-against-womensvaw/page.do?id=1108417>. "Survey Finds Many Turks in Germany Feel 'unwanted'" Ed. K. James. Deutsche Welle, 20 Nov. 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2010. <http://www.dwworld.de/dw/article/0,,4912475,00.html>. Turkey: Killing in the Name of Honour. Dir. Women On The Frontline. Cine Fête, 2008. DVD. "Turkey." The World Factbook 2010. Central Intelligence Agency, 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/geos/tu.html.
God and the “Universal” Declaration of Human Rights Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1'
One Size Fits All
God and the “Universal” Declaration of Human Rights By: Sarah Firestone The “genesis” of human rights was religious. Yet, paradoxically, religion has motivated some of the greatest violations to these very rights throughout human history. The two are thus inextricably connected. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights debated by the newly created United Nations, was intended as a new beginning against the backdrop of the Holocaust and World War II. The omission of reference to God in the UDHR was significant in framing the modern understanding of religious freedom and human rights as secular. The debate exposed the fallacy of invoking ‘a’ God to protect religious
freedom, since freedom of religion requires freedom from dominance by any single religion, an idea with particular resonance in a post-colonial international forum. Despite the irony that the genesis of the idea of inalienable ‘human rights’ was historically tied to religious doctrine, the exclusion of a “God clause” served to protect religious freedom, promote secularism, entrench the merit of a division of Church and State, and ensure that the UDHR would be “universally” accepted. Brazil’s proposed amendment to Article 1 to adopt an expressed reference to God, and an overt articulation of Christian theology
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' sparked debate. The proposal read that, “Created in the image and likeness of God, [individuals] are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in brotherhood” (3rd Session, Oct. 7, 1). Precedents of this statement include the American Declaration of Independence, according to which the United States of America is a nation founded on freedom, as well as a refuge for the religiously persecuted. Reinforcing Brazil’s proposal, Bolivia contended that an explicit mention of God was imperative since “the idea of God was not a debatable theological doctrine, but a positive reality,” (98th Meeting, Oct. 9, 6). Further, Argentina proposed that the inclusion of ‘God’ was intended to underscore the inalienable nature of human rights solely to ensure a wide interpretation (98th Meeting, Oct. 9, 2). The Netherlands attempted to bring in God indirectly by tinkering with the wording of the preamble, proposing instead, “the religion existing between the Creator and man,” (165th Meeting, Nov. 30, 2) and suggesting that nonbelievers could simply ‘discard the phrase.’ However, as a selective approach to the instrument, article 1 would endanger the clout of the whole Declaration, as noted by Poland (165th Meeting, Nov. 30, 5-6). The positions of these delegations demonstrate recognition of the historical linkage between human rights and religious doctrine. Nevertheless, international adoption of a direct reference to a particular God or Creator was rejected by the General Assembly on the basis that not all nations shared the same beliefs. Those who rejected these proposed amendments placed secularism at the forefront of international human rights law and worked to carve out a morality and justice distinct from, and independent of, religious strictures (Introduction, 09/01/12). Human rights advocate John Humphrey explained that secularity was crucial to the Declaration’s
universality (John Humphrey and the UDHR, 06/02/12). Epitomizing this idea, the Indian delegation explained that as a “secular State, in which numerous creeds, ranging from animism to atheism were practiced,” the Declaration ought not to be “dogmatic,” (165th Meeting, Nov. 30, 8) effectively adopting Gandhi’s perspective that all people have rights, not only Christians (Introduction, 09/01/12). The division of Church and State was seen as central to secularism and to the protection of minorities from religious domination. The USSR argued that the proposal from the Netherlands would violate this separation, which many countries had enshrined, and was inappropriate in a secular organization. Additionally, the USSR delegate opposed the Brazilian amendment on the basis
This division of Church and State was seen as central to secularism and to the protection of minorities from religious domination. that it was not representative of the viewpoints of all nations, and was not forward looking; “to try to force one’s own faith or philosophy upon others would be to revert to concepts current at the time of the Crusades” (98th Meeting, Oct 9. 4). These opponents each argued strenuously for a secular declaration that could promote human rights everywhere for everyone, and would thus be distinct from the religiously informed Western colonial concept of human rights based on Christian thought and reflective of the impact of diverse stakeholders. Charles Taylor’s theory of “secularism as management of diversity,” (20th Century Developments, 10/01/12) proves apt when considering the UN as a pluralistic body. The French, as cultivators of the iconic “liberty, equality and fraternity” model, and of the Age of
Reason (98th Meeting, Oct. 9, 6), resolved the debate by a motion to append the term “universal.” This term “managed” diversity because it could elevate human rights in a way evocative of the divine or natural law paradigms of Western philosophers, such as Hobbes. As a term taken from the Genesis, it had appeal to all monotheists. It was also consistent with Buddhist thought, which is rooted in “universal truths” (Grand Narratives of Religion & Human Rights, 11/01/12), and with Hindu beliefs in “transcendence,” referring to the aspect of God’s nature and power which is independent from the material universe, but was at the same time appealing to Atheist because of its neutrality. This proved a great point of compromise, as it served to prioritize the declaration without any reference to God, which had offended some states and arguably violated some of their constitutional principles. The genius of the “universal” adjective was that it meant different things to different people. The member states could all see in it something inspiring that they could each identify with. In conclusion, the significance of the UN debate surrounding the adoption of the UDHR is that it elucidated the issues at the heart of the legitimacy of international norms in matters of private conscience by questioning the validity of identifying one religious tradition in public international law. The debate was resolved in favour of sanctioning secularity and adopting the concept of a separation of Church and State as the surest way to protect individual rights, arriving at a “universal” “one size fits all” declaration. The exclusion of a God clause from the UDHR was necessary to achieve a consensus, and is understood when viewed against the backdrop of religiously motivated genocide, the diverse stakeholders involved in the creation of international law clauses, and the collapse of colonialism and its imposition of dominant western beliefs.
The UDHR is thus a seminal document comparable in significance to the Magna Carta in 1215, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen in 1789 (Grand Narratives of Religion & Human Rights, 11/01/12). Yet, the impact is wider because the purview itself is wider, applying to, and acceptable to, all people of all backgrounds and all beliefs, and therefore is truly universal. As described by Eleanor Roosevelt, the UDHR is the Magna Carta for all humanity (John Humphrey and the UDHR, 06/02/12).
Opportunity in Development Theory: Beyond the Impasse By: Gijs Leenders Abstract This paper is a summary of the research I conducted with regards to what is popularly known as the development impasse. Drawing from lectures, texts and academic literature, I make an attempt to summarize three of the most widely acknowledged pre-impasse development theories. By analyzing their relative merits and shortcomings in explaining development processesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;especially with regards to how useful they are as tools to implement effective development strategies â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I aim to show how the development impasse was created. The paper goes on to describe two of the myriad post-impasse theories: the Actor-Oriented Approach, and the Sustainable Livelihoods approach, comparing their premises and proposals on how to effectively enable individuals in the developing world to free themselves from the traps of poverty. Informed by the respective attributes of these two theories, as well as the failures of preimpasse theories, I attempt to make the case that effective development can only occur when the developed world creates opportunities for citizens in the developing world that allow them to control their own fates and wellbeing, rather than offering a deterministic, static and often flawed path to prosperity.
Opportunity The present state of the world demands effective, efficient and appropriate development theories. Economic inequality between and within nations is rising at an unprecedented pace, environmental degradation and climate change are affecting the livelihood of all nations and, perhaps most challenging of all, the world’s population is growing steadily, having recently passed the 7 billion mark. Furthermore, recent crises and structural economic problems in developed nations have substantially reduced the governments’ willingness to provide official aid to development initiatives, resulting in many development programs being short of the funds needed to carry out their objectives. In light of these and other trends, one can be forgiven for having a rather meager measure of hope for those who remain lodged in lives marred by poverty and all the shortcomings this entails. It is my purpose in this essay to counter the opinion just articulated. The ability of postdevelopment theories to recognize the heterogeneity of the world’s myriad cultures and its peoples’ capacity for human agency, as well as to have a nuanced understanding of the true meaning of development intervention, will allow for the field to move beyond the development impasse; it will be possible in this way to better identify the opportunities for development that are available for all human beings. With this encompassing statement in mind, I intend to demonstrate that the major failure of the preimpasse development theories was to define developing spaces “by what they lack, not what they have” (McGregor, 2009, p. 1690). Subsequently, I will introduce the Actor-Oriented approach and Sustainable Livelihoods approach post-development theories, critically assessing whether they have the potential to end the development impasse by introducing a
development paradigm based on opportunity rather than deficiency. Development Impasse The development impasse is recognized among academia as a period starting in the late 1980s (Schuurman, 1993) during which there has been no widely accepted development theory or paradigm. Since then, many different theories have been developed to accurately capture the realities of development challenges, but no alternatives to the existing theories have been able to become dominant and reshape collective thinking on the field of development (Schuurman, 1993). Such impasse occurred due to widespread criticism of the existing development theories, which had become widely accused of being a “homogenizing discourse that dispossesses people of their cultures, land and labour by making false promises of unattainable futures” (McGregor, 2009, p. 1688). Walt Rostow’s seminal 1960 work The Stages of Economic Growth introduced the deterministic and reductionist Modernization theory (Hettne, 1995). In essence, the theory presupposed a homogenous, universally valid, replicable, and linear developmental progression through a series of five stages (Hettne, 1995), starting in a traditional economy and ending at a stage of high consumption (Schuurman, 1993). Imperative to this progression was capital investment and the relinquishment of traditional culture, presuming that “every country was following in the wake of the United States along a pre-determined series of stages” (Vandergeest & Buttel, 1988, p. 685). Reacting to this teleological determinism, Dependency theory, influenced by the works of Raul Prebisch and formalized by Gunther Frank and his fellow dependistas in the 1960s (Schuurman, 1993), created a Neo-Marxist perspective on underdevelopment (Schuurman,
1993). This theory viewed underdevelopment as a direct consequence of historical colonization and modern capitalistic imperialism, by which ‘core’ countries extract the economic surplus of their ‘peripheral’ counterparts (Hettne, 1995), relegating the latter to be exporters of primary goods and importers of the Core’s industrial goods. Fatally ‘deterministic’ itself (Hettne, 1995, p. 58), the theory proposed a statist approach to controlling internal factors for industrialization, while guarding against external interference (Schuurman, 1993). On the other hand, the World Systems theory came to prescribe that “holism is a basic principle” (Hettne, 1995, p. 138). Drawn primarily from the works of Wallerstein, the World Systems theory removes the distinction between internal and external factors made by the dependistas by considering each nation to be a unit within a completely interdependent capitalist global system (Schuurman, 1993). Within this system, inequality and underdevelopment are explained by the underdeveloped nations’ participation in the global economy on unfavorable terms of trade, which relegates different nations to core, semiperiphery or periphery statuses in accordance with their respective level of industrialization (Schuurman, 1993). Development thus aims at improving industry in order to help periphery states overcome their subordinate status, while conceding the difficulty of changing a nation’s “state of dependency” in the present global context (Hettne, 1995, p. 142). The negative “diagnostic and prescriptive” tendencies of these theories (Long, 2003, p. 50), marked by their failure to understand the ‘tremendous heterogeneity’ that exists among developing countries, (Vandergeest & Buttel, 1988, pp. 685-686) has resulted in their abject failure to facilitate appropriate development programs. Consequently, the development impasse has grown out of despondency in relation to existing
theories’ inability to account for growing inequality, severe environmental degradation, the lack of long term development plans and especially, the worsening effects of neoliberal structural adjustment programs, which were once seen as a compulsory economic measure for development and modernization but turned (Schuurman, 1993). All paternalistic development interventions that view developing nations as powerless victims have thus consistently underperformed in their goals (Long, 2003). Actor-Oriented Approach The Actor-Oriented approach is a postdevelopment theory that provides the means to overcome the development impasse, as it is predicated on an understanding of the existence of multiple social realities – the coexistence of different understandings and experience interpretations – that exist in any development situation (Long, 2003). To elaborate on the heterogeneity of the Actor-Orientated approach (Ellis & Biggs, 2001), I will draw from NyamuMusembi’s work on human rights (2005), and Norman Long’s overview of the approach (2003). While considerable questions remain as to the universal applicability of human rights constructed from the Western nations’ experience (Nyamu-Musembi, 2005), NyamuMusembi nonetheless considers this approach to be “predicated on the principle that development should result in empowerment of socially and economically disadvantaged groups” (Nyamu-Musembi, 2005, p. 42). She posits that an understanding of human rights needs to be informed by the concrete experiences and traditions of the particular actors involved, which will allow for a better integration of the notion of human rights into the conceptual framework, or social reality, of those seeking to benefit from development (NyamuMusembi, 2005). Moreover, this approach influences the understanding of nuanced
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' development intervention, which, instead of seeing poverty eradication as a goal with obstacles to overcome, sees rights empowerment as the fulfillment of a potential that already exists within diverse communities (Nyamu-Musembi, 2005). The potential of the Actor-Oriented approach in development application is shown by an example given, where a group of women’s rights activists from various Islamic backgrounds have created an interactive and interpretative “Manual for Women’s Rights Education in Muslim Societies” (NyamuMusembi, 2005, p. 45), which interweaves excerpts from international human rights agreements with verses from the Qu’ran, sharia’a rules, stories, idioms and personal experiences. This manual, actor-oriented as it is, has been more effective in educating and empowering women than the relatively paternalistic application of foreign norms and expectations. It also reveals the “complexities of using rights in practice, (while holding) greater possibilities for leading to positive change” (Nyamu-Musembi, 2005, p. 45). Norman Long, also a recognized authority on the Actor-Oriented approach, considers the yet a different perspective, emphasizing “the central significance of ‘human agency’ and selforganizing processes” (Long, 2003, p. 47) on the development process.Notably, Norman opposes the ‘linear and logical’ order of traditional development project cycles (Long, 2003, p. 51), positing instead that a crucial feature of the post-impasse development theory should be to recognize intervention for what it fundamentally is; “an ongoing, socially constructed and negotiated process, not simply the execution of an already-specified plan or framework for action with expected outcomes” (Long, 2003, p. 52). This break from traditional determinism and reductionism hails from Long’s understanding of social life as being “heterogeneous and polymorphic” (Long, 2003, p. 49), entailing that any social or development
action must be context-specific and contextually generated (Long, 2003). As such, the aim of the Actor-Oriented approach is then to facilitate a social interface in which an appreciation for the different provisional, partial and contextual knowledge of the actors involved leads to a methodological and ethnographical mapping of cultural differences, power, authority, interrelationships and opportunities for individuals (Long, 2003). As Long concedes, it is indeed the day-to-day decisions, routines and strategies devised for coping with uncertainties, conflicts and differences that make or break development policy (Long, 2003). Thus, until the field recognizes this reality, it will not move beyond the impasse. Sustainable Livelihoods Approach The Sustainable Livelihoods approach originated from Amyarta’s Sen’s works on “famine analysis and asset vulnerability analysis” (Ellis & Biggs, 2001, p. 445) in the context of livelihoods failing to weather social, political, and economic shocks. The approach focuses on the analysis of assets in the form of human, natural, physical, social and financial capital, and their capacity to be built upon to increase the sustainability of a livelihood (Scoones, 1998). A livelihood in this case, “comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living” (Scoones, 1998, p. 4) and is largely dependent on the context; the factors, stresses and shocks in which a particular society finds itself (Chambers & Conway, 1991). This focus on the ability of a livelihood to survive consistent stresses and momentary shocks is crucial to the long term viability of development and highlights the need to build upon opportunities for development as they are identified using asset analysis (Chambers & Conway, 1991). The asset analysis program encourages a community, or even a household livelihood, to “re-imagine itself in terms of its strengths rather than
weaknesses, thereby enabling spaces for the discussion and pursuit of a range of previously unvalued activities” (McGregor, 2009, p. 1698).
only on problems, opportunities are easy to miss” (Chambers & Conway, 1991, p. 16). The goal of the Sustainable Livelihoods approach is to implement practical or strategic interventions, focused on livelihood asset The asset analysis program strengthening and systemic social and economic encourages a community, to change respectively, in order to create even a household livelihood to sustainable livelihoods throughout the “reimagine itself in terms of its developing world (Chambers & Conway, 1991). strengths rather than its These strategies are integrated in asset weaknesses, thereby enabling portfolios, which recommend the various ways in spaces for discussion and pursuit which a livelihood can increase its income, strengthen its capacity to withstand shocks and of a range of previously stresses, improve well-being, and become undervalued activities” environmentally sustainable (Scoones, 1998). (McGregor, 2009, p. 1698). These strategies enhance agricultural productivity, diversifying economic activity and even migration (Chambers & Conway, 1991). In its two dimensions, social and environmental, the onus on sustainability entails Crucial is also the recognition of agriculture’s that a livelihood must be able to “cope with and place along with a “host of other actual and recover from stresses or shocks, [and] maintain potential rural and non-rural activities that are or enhance its capabilities and assets, while not important to the construction of rural sustainable livelihoods” (Ellis & Biggs, 2001, p. undermining the natural resource base” 445). This indicates that within development (Scoones, 1998, p. 4). Too often, the limited theory, emphasis should be continuously placed scope of development intervention fails to on the heterogeneous economic opportunity of appreciate the viability of temporary asset diverse and developing societies. injections and the degrading affects that this type of development has on future generations’ Critical Assessment As mentioned previously, the classical access to natural resources (Scoones, 1998). development theories failed because their The Sustainable livelihoods approach explicitly seeks to establish self-sufficient units capable of homogeneous and deterministic perspective did not appreciate the diversity and capacity of growth, well-being, and dignity (Chambers & human agency within developing societies. Conway, 1991). Most importantly, they failed to view In his book on the economic potential of development as an assessment and application the ‘bottom billion’, C.K. Prahalad states that “large scale and widespread entrepreneurship is of opportunity for the actors involved. As such, the post-development theories must overcome at the heart of the solution to poverty” these shortcomings to be able to effectively (Prahalad, 2010, p. 27). Sustainable Livelihood overcome the development impasse. enables this kind of entrepreneurship by The Actor-Oriented approach and the identifying opportunity on any scale using empirical asset analysis (Scoones, 1998). This is Sustainable Livelihoods approach seem at the surface to be perfect candidate theories contrary to traditional negative approaches, addressing the concepts of heterogeneity and which are easily self-fulfilling. “If the focus is human agency (Ellis & Biggs, 2001). However,
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' upon inspection, both can be criticized for providing a Sisyphean task to development agencies, thereby limiting their pragmatic appeal (Scoones, 1998). As Scoones admits, even a major field research undertaking may fail to identify and address all measures of sustainable livelihood assessment (1998). Accordingly, Long concedes the difficulty of a development agency in effectively assuming a role of “participant, observer, active collaborator and adviser” (Long, 2003, p. 56). Furthermore, while these theories place importance on the variable and contextual nature of knowledge, as well as on the scope and scale of developing intervention strategies, (Chambers & Conway, 1991) it is safe to say that no matter the degree of focus on the respective actors on domestic factors, the influence of external factors will remain difficult to mitigate (Vandergeest & Buttel, 1988). A remedy for internalizing local community factors embraced by both theories are the rubrics of rapid rural appraisal (RRA) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA), where local actors are incorporated into the evaluation and measurement of development activities (Ellis & Biggs, 2001). Sustainable Livelihoods, in particular, place an emphasis on this type of participation (Chambers & Conway, 1991). A significant criticism and challenge to all development theories, posited by Long, remains an encompassing threat to the efficacy of development interventions (Long, 2003). This issue is the paradox of participatory development, which highlights a potential problem that the previously mentioned rubrics of RRA and PRA, and therefore Sustainable Livelihoods, may encounter. The paradox describes participatory development as a process whereby “[development agents] imply the idea of empowering people through strategic intervention by ‘enlightened experts’ who make use of ‘people’s science’ and ‘local intermediate organizations’ to promote development ‘from below’” (Long, 2003, p. 55). Accordingly, the
notion of powerful outsiders assisting powerless insiders in a determined method is smuggled into the development theory of even those theories that we believe to be so focused on empowering individuals (Long, 2003). While I agree with Long that this paradox exists, I will extend his criticism and apply it to ActorOriented development too, where, regardless of the emphasis and understanding of contextualized and respective realities, the outsider giving advice will also be viewed in a paternalistic perspective. Nonetheless, accepting the paternalistic element does not, in my opinion, limit the ability of these theories to allow developing communities and individuals “to re-imagine agency and place and create new networks and spaces of opportunity for people and communities” (McGregor, 2009, p. 1688). These two theories, working in complement as
Nonetheless, accepting the paternalistic element does not, in my opinion, limit the ability of these theories to allow developing communities and individuals to “re-imagine agency and place and create new networks and spaces of opportunity for people and communities” (McGregor, 2009. P 1688) an actor-oriented approach that uses the social interface and respect for contextualized knowledge that is incorporated into the Sustainable Livelihoods theory’ asset analysis , can contribute tremendously to people’s struggle to improve their lives. “Couched in a culture of possibility and experimentation” (McGregor, 2009, p. 1699), these two postdevelopment theories could change together the
development paradigm by focusing on positive opportunity for all human beings. Conclusion In the words of Muhammed Yunus winner of the 2006 Nobel peace prize, founder of the Grameen bank, and father of microfinance - “Poverty is caused by a failure at the conceptual level, rather than any lack of capability on the part of the people… once the poor can unleash their energy and creativity, poverty will disappear very quickly” (Yunus, 2007, pp. 258-259). The essence of postdevelopment theory, if it is to move beyond the development impasse, must become enablement. Linear and deterministic views of development must be abandoned, and obstacles to development must be viewed solely as obstacles to enablement. Development must become the enablement of local actors to seize the opportunities that are available for them to become self-sustaining, efficient and valuable contributors to the global community. The ActorOriented approach and Sustainable Livelihood approach provide empirical methods and mindsets enriched by an understanding of heterogeneity, human agency and real development intervention, that is, an ongoing, socially constructed, and negotiated process to successfully enable individuals to seize the opportunities available to them.
Yunus, M. (2007). The Nobel Peace Prize 2006 Nobel Lecture. Law and Business Review of the Americas , 13 (2), 267-276. Vandergeest, P. &. (1988). Marx, Weber and development sociology: Beyond the Impasse. World Development , 1, 683-696. Chambers, R. C. (1991). Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st Century. London: Institute for International Development. Ellis, F. &. (2001). Evolving Themes in Rural Development 1950s-2000s. Developent Policy Review , 19, 437448. Hettne, B. (1995). Development Theory and the Three Worlds. Longman Development Series , 49-142. Long, B. (2003). An Actor-Oriented Approach to Development Intervention. Rural Life Improvement in Asia , 47-61. Nyamu-Musembi, C. (2005). An Actor-Oriented Approach to Rights in Development. Institute of Development Studies , 41-51. McGregor, A. (2009). New Possibilities? Shifts in PostDevelopment Theory and Practice. Geography Compass , 1688-1702. Prahalad, C. (2010). Chapter 1: The Market at the bottom of the Pyramid. In C. Prahalad, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits (pp. 27-46). New Jersey: Pearson Education. Schuurman, F. (1993). Introduction: Development Theory in the 1990s. In F. Schuurman, Beyond the Impasse. New Directions in Development Theory (pp. 1-48). London: Zed Books. Scoones, I. (1998). Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis. Institute for International Development Working Paper (72), 1-15.
Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are Not for Sale A Book Review By: Elizabeth Cauley “It was at a youth summit for survivors in Canada in 1998 that I first heard the terminology commercially sexually exploited child/youth…it was a phrase that had been adopted by the United Nations and UNICEF and was largely accepted by many practitioners in the international children’s rights field. These, however, weren’t the people who most sexually exploited children were running into on a daily basis. It was the cops, social workers, nurses, guidance counselors, family members, judges, and correctional officers who were scornfully calling girls prostitutes and treating them accordingly” (Lloyd, 2011, p. 214). Reading the book Girls Like Us: Fighting For a World Where Girls are Not for Sale, one gets a peek inside the mind and heart of one of
today’s most influential advocates for domestically sexually exploited children. The author, Rachel Lloyd, shares her own personal story, as well as the gut wrenching accounts of several other young girls who have been and continue to be sold. These commercially sexually exploited children and young adults face a world where virtually every card is stacked against them. They usually grow up in abusive home situations without love and support; they are surrounded by law enforcement officials who are apathetic to their plight or, even worse, pay to exploit them just like other johns and they are immersed in a culture that degrades women, glorifies pimps, and justifies the purchase of sex as a natural urge that men need to satisfy.
Rachel Lloyd champions the need for love in the healing process of sexually exploited youth, recognizing that punishment and disdain will only force them deeper into “the life”. These young women need a place to belong and feel loved, and need the tools to make their own choices and empower themselves. In such detail, Rachel tells her story of exploitation and introduces the reader to girls whose world is one of poverty, abuse and sexual exploitations. As a personal memoir, Lloyd shares her own experiences and subsequent arguments through several different sources. She draws upon primary sources such as UNICEF publications, The New York Law Enforcement Agency, The National Center for Children in Poverty, The National Institute of Justice, The Safe Harbor Act, The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and most importantly, oral histories. She also uses a few secondary sources in arguing about inequality and power relations, including the notions of gender, race and class.
violence, their PTSD, and their temptation to return to the world of the sex industry. Above all, she refutes the idea that sexual exploitation is a “choice” children make, and shows how all children develop their perceptions of truth, no matter how. More specifically, Lloyd divides her themes by chapter: “Learning, Risk, Family, Recruitment, Pimps, Johns, Victims, Cops, Staying, Leaving, Relapse, Unlearning, Stigma, Healing, Leadership and Beginnings”. These chapters explain, in some sense, the ‘stages’ of sexual exploitation and the last few chapters explain the subsequent restorative measures that Lloyd now undertakes. Of these chapters (themes) there are certainly some which are crucial in understanding this grave form of violation of human rights. First, in the chapter “Recruitment”, Lloyd shares several girls’ stories of how they were coerced into being trafficked: “Bethany’s mother sells her for drugs on the street. When she starts junior high school she discovers that she’s been sold to some of her own family members. Lloyd focuses on the factors that Humiliated, she runs away and meets a guy who picks up where her mother left off” (Lloyd, 2011, drive young women to this p. 71). “Maria is homeless due to her mother’s lifestyle, including abuse of all varieties, such as sexual, physical schizophrenia and continual instability. She meets a guy who takes her in and sets her up in and mental. his mother’s basement. He starts bringing guys Lloyd focuses on the factors that drive in and forces her to strip for them, she’s twelve” young women to this lifestyle, including abuse of (Lloyd, 2011, 72). all varieties, such as sexual, physical and Second, the chapter “Victims” shows how mental. To supplement this primary information, Lloyd and other girls who share similar she gives examples of her own experiences, and experiences are rarely seen as victims. At the those of the girls aided by her organization Girls age of sixteen Lloyd is told by her ex boyfriend at Education and Mentoring Service (GEMS). She the time that he is taking her to Amsterdam to addresses the problem of the commercial sexual be sold. While trying to escape, she runs into a exploitation of youth in New York, focusing on a police precinct where they threaten to arrest her somewhat specific demographic. and ultimately ignore any of her claims forcing The depth of her psychological insight her to go back in the car with that very same can be breathtaking, as she discusses the girls’ man. attachment to their pimps, their distrust of law Third, in the chapter “Cops”, Lloyd gives enforcement, their warped ideas of love and an example of the disconnect between the
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' discourse of everyday law enforcement agencies and larger humans rights institutions: “A cop told a girl he really couldn’t see why she didn’t just leave the man who had forcibly kidnapped her. A girl from Spain who got recruited in the United States and spoke very little English was told that because she didn’t use the word ‘force’ in reporting her rape, the police could not charge the perpetrator” (Lloyd, 2011, 126). Fourth, the chapter “Staying” shows how it is not up to the girl to leave, and more often than not, is not even an option. Under the authority of her pimp JP, Lloyd is woken up one night by being repeatedly punched in the face. JP, who is in a crack induced fit, accuses her of being disloyal, forcing her to repeat that she will not be disloyal for five hours while he holds her by the hair with one hand and knife to her neck with the other. Fifth, in the chapter “Unlearning” Lloyd stresses how she and the other girls must unlearn the mechanisms that have been used by their traffickers to subdue them. In one instance, Lloyd is staying with a family and is surprised when the husband does not hit his wife because she forgot to get him his tea. lastly, the chapter “Leadership” provides a sense of connectedness between Lloyd and the girls she mentors, as they all share their similar, yet unique experiences. Overall, I found Lloyd’s arguments to be well thought out and appropriate, as they stem from personal experience and acquired knowledge about domestic trafficking in the United States. Through her work, she focuses on those who are constantly being denied basic human rights. These violations include debt bondage, deprivation of liberty and lack of control over one’s labor. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and its reauthorizations in 2003, 2005, and 2008 define child sex trafficking “where children under the age of eighteen found in the commercial sex trade are considered to be victims of trafficking without
requiring that they experienced ‘force, fraud or coercion’ to keep them there” (Lloyd, 2011, 79). Yet, even with this act, cops, journalists, judges and other law enforcement members still see and therefore prosecute these girls as ‘teen prostitutes.’ In doing so, victims are punished as the perpetrators while the violators, are forgotten. Similarly, as their status in society is seen less as victims and more as lifetime delinquents and criminals, they are not expected to amount to much and there is therefore no real concern for their rights in the first place. Specifically this is true for girls who come from low-income backgrounds or marginalized ethnic minorities. Moreover her argument regarding choice adequately targets the issue of human rights violations. Commercially exploited children’s experiences are laid out in society and the criminal justice system as if they all stem from choice. Thereby, one chooses to enter the “life.” This way of thinking is what leads children who are trafficked to be seen as criminals themselves. Their choices are framed in three ways: age and age appropriate responsibility, the type of choice, and the context of the choice. Therefore, given that there are age requirements for things such as alcoholic consumption, it is evident that children are thought to not have as much reason as adults and thus should not be responsible for some grave actions. Moreover, they lack the psychological development and maturity to make rational choices. Having said this, there are some aspects to Lloyd’s book which may be critiqued. First, by telling her personal experience she blatantly pushes for her own organization, GEMS. In solely promoting her own organization as the best recovery solution for commercially exploited girls, she neglects other local organizations. There are indeed reputable entities in New York City that do empowerment-based work with commercially exploited youth and that do it completely outside of the criminal legal system.
Specifically, a recent study at John Jay University (Curtis et al., 2008) demonstrates where these youth are choosing to access services, and it evidently is not GEMS. Of the thousands of youth participating in the sex trade in NYC, 2.4% said that they had ever used GEMS services. Therefore, it seems a bit of a stretch when she claims that she speaks for all of the youth in New York who are commercially exploited. Furthermore, although she mentions the term children repeatedly, she unfortunately focuses her analysis on only girls. Moreover, her organization does not offer any programming or services to acknowledge that their clients might identify as anything other than heterosexual. GEMS also does not acknowledge that some of their clients might not even identify as girls. It also refuses to work with transgender girls, implying that they are not really girls, or are not the right kind of girls for such program. In conclusion, Rachel Lloyd’s book Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World where Girls are not for Sale depicts the life of a trafficked young girl who breaks free from her trafficker’s coercion and makes it her goal to help others who share similar experiences. The explicitness of Lloyd’s writing coupled with her insights on being sold for sex allows the reader to see the world of domestic human trafficking in a very different and real way. Although there are some aspects of her book which may be up for debate, what stands true is the main theme and argument that these commercially exploited girls are continually seen as criminals and not victims and are therefore denied human rights at the micro and macro levels of human rights implementation. This is as a result of the
contradiction in legislation that occurs between the federal and state level. For example, although the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 is a federal statute which protects sexually exploited children, it is often disregarded in the favor of state legislation. One of the major challenges is the need to reframe not only attitudes, but also language. The United Nations and UNICEF have adopted the term “commercially sexually exploited child/youth” to reference those who are underage. With the introduction of new terminology, there may be a change in the way in which we see these children. Once assimilated into the collective mindset, a change can start to be reflected in the media and popular culture. As Lloyd emphasizes, most of America did not have trouble understanding the trauma of a missing child such as Elizabeth Smart. But when you shift from her story to a 14-year-old girl of color in the Bronx, the reaction is totally different. Therefore, Lloyd’s focus on bridging the gap between federal and state statute is central to eradicating these human rights violations. In order to prevent these crimes against humanity, protect young individuals and create a common discourse there must be a sense of universality in regards to human rights and the law. If misconceptions could start to be addressed, perhaps a real awareness toward new solutions could be innovated. Curtis, R., Terry, K., Dank, M., Dombrowski, K., Khan, B. (2008). The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City. John Jay College.
World Where Girls are Not for Sale. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers
Lloyd, R. (2011). Girls like us: Fighting for a
Living With Disabilities in Haiti By: Victoria Bragues
Abstract The disabled in Haiti are often part of an extremely marginalized and under-served population. Reasons for this include resounding social stigmas and limited resources. I use Wings of Hope, an orphanage in Haiti, to illustrate both the positive efforts being made by individual institutions to help disabled people in the country, and the barriers they still face within the greater community. The Bureau for the Integration of Handicapped People has also recently presented a number of programs and campaigns that aim to provide opportunities for the disabled, which parallel the recommendations that the World Health Organization and the World Bank make for low-resourced countries in the 2011 World Development Report. Although Haiti is showing some progress in this area , it is not yet at an adequate level to provide a foundation for the development of Haiti by means of a decrease in the dependent population. This paper seeks to present the inequalities that currently exist for this under-researched population, as well as suggestions for future action.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability as “an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions,” (Organisation, n.d.-b) referring more specifically to abnormal physical and mental functions, difficulty to execute an action or task, and restriction from participating in society. Thus, disability does not solely refer to a person’s body and its features. Rather, it takes into account his or her ability to act as an equal participating member of the community in which he or she lives. This definition is similar to the notion of health presented in the Ottawa Charter, established on November 21st, 1986, when the first International Conference on Health Promotion was held under the auspice of the World Health Organization. Here too, health was viewed as interplay between physical capacities and social resources. As its members argued, “to reach a physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and realize aspiration, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment” (World Health Organisation, 1986). The Charter further provides a list of prerequisites for health, which include: “peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice, and equity,”(World Health Organisation) all of which are elements that many North Americans, like myself, take for granted. In this article I focus exclusively on Haitians who are physically and mentally disabled, while examining the social barriers they are faced with habitually in their communities. Haiti is an extremely poor country. According to the United Nations Development Programme’s 2011 Human Development Index, the country ranks 158 out of 187 countries, falling below the regional level of Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDP, 2011). Haiti is also a low-resourced, underserviced country, with inadequate levels of professional capacity to execute programs that
are available in North America, all of which maintains drastic inequalities that exist not only between genders and social classes, but also between those who are considered ‘normal’ versus those who are ‘disabled’. The social perspective of disability in this country is an extremely negative one. A disabled person is often viewed as tainted due to widely held spiritual beliefs. These traditions, paired with the country’s limited resources, result in disabled Haitians having no access to resources that would satisfy their needs or aspirations. Because of the drastic difference between political and social contexts in Haiti and North America, it would be absurd to compare these realities and prescribe suggestions that could remedy Haiti’s human development problem. For this reason, I compare Haiti’s efforts to promote the integration of disabled people, to the recommendations made in the World Development Report (WDR) by the WHO and World Bank (WB) for low-resource countries. While exploring the independent efforts of Wings of Hope, an orphanage for disabled children, I learned that it provides many opportunities for their children, in the way of education, a variety of therapies, and social well-being. Although these positive advancements in the lives of children may be far reaching across their close communities, on a larger scale, they are still being denied access to mainstream and specialized services to satisfy their needs. Therefore, I look at Haiti at a national level, and compare the programs and campaigns that the Bureau du Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées (BSEIPH) executed in 2012 to the recommendations made in the WDR. Although the Haitian government has made substantial advancements, they are still lacking the necessary economic and material resources, human capacity and adequate infrastructure to
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' achieve national health, which in turn would help the development of the country by improving the life-standard of the population with disabilities. At the heart of this shortcoming, I believe that the BSEIPH should concentrate on the national awareness, understanding and acceptance of disabled people. If this is accomplished, it would attract more aid in the way of funding, capacity and resources to disability-focused projects. Only when the disabled population of Haiti has access to these projects, and their circumstances are viewed in a more positive light, will they have a more equal playing ground within society, ultimately allowing for health promotion, an important foundation for Haiti’s development. Objectives: According to the 2006 United Nations’ International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 10 percent of the world’s population (650 million people) is living with a disability (United Nations, 2006). Based on global population estimates of 2010, this figure has augmented to 15 percent (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). Reasons for the increased prevalence are varied. Population increases, aging populations, worldwide increase in chronic health conditions associated with disabilities (eg: diabetes, cardiovascular illness, mental health disorders), natural disasters and conflict are all factors that influence this rise. Moreover, roughly 80 percent of these 650 million people live in developing countries (United Nations, 2006), where resources are limited and access to services are daunting. As of 2008, 10 percent of the total Haitian population live with disabilities (United Nations, 2006). Since then, the country has been devastated by two tropical storms, two hurricanes and one extreme earthquake, arguably leaving even more people living with physical and mental disabilities in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
Undoubtedly, life for an average Haitian is extremely challenging. Roughly 80 percent of the Haitian population lives in poverty (Jacobson, 2003). With drastic unemployment rates, a 45 percent literacy rate, ongoing food shortages, poor access to medical services, and a long history of corrupt leaderships, people are struggling to even survive (Shukshin, 2005). Because resources and services are severely limited, opportunities are extremely rare for marginalized populations, such as the disabled. Promises and laws are held in the Haitian Constitution to protect the rights of the disabled. Yet, they have not been upheld. Some efforts are being made, often with the help of foreign organizations and independent institutions. These projects should be tailored to Haiti’s specific circumstances in order to guarantee social equality and justice, which in turn would benefit the development of Haiti as a whole.
Through this research article, I hope to explore the efforts being made by one specific institution caring for disabled children in Haiti as well as those made by the Bureau for the Integration for Handicapped People, and compare their work to the recommendations made by the WHO and the WB for countries with limited resources. Through this research article, I hope to explore the efforts being made by one specific institution caring for disabled children in Haiti as well as those made by the Bureau for the Integration for Handicapped People, and compare their work to the recommendations
made by the WHO and the WB for countries with limited resources. Adults and children living with disability are often part of the highly marginalized and under-served population. Henceforth, with this project, I believe that I will learn a great deal about this under-researched topic. Background: There is a culturally-produced stigma regarding disabled people in Haiti. The main factor responsible for its phenomenon is spirituality (Jacobson, 2003). Haitians are a very religious people and this influences nearly every aspect of their society. Roughly 90 percent of the population is Catholic, while the other 10 percent is Protestant (Jacobson, 2003). Originally used as a means to unify the rebellious slaves during the Haitian Revolution, Voudoun now exists side by side Catholicism. At the hands of French colonialism, many African slaves were imported into SaintDomingue (the original name for the Caribbean island before Independence), bringing with them many different cultural and spiritual beliefs. Throughout slavery, captives and Haitian indigenous alike worked together on plantations, and their different creeds, molded together, created Voudoun. Erik Jacobson, a literacy and community-based education specialist at the Center for World Cultures and Languages at the University of Massachusetts states that this practice comprises a complex cosmology of supernatural spirits (lwa) who have influence and control over humans. People who practice Voudoun respect these lwa greatly, and their daily life is centered on pleasing them. If at any time a lwa is disrespected, it becomes angry and punishes the individual or his family (2003). This is where disability comes into play. Rather than perceiving disability as a medical issue, a great percentage of Haitians believe that its origins lie within this supernatural world. A person who is born with a disability, or acquires
one later in life, is thought to have been punished for their personal or family’s transgressions. Thus, a disabled person is viewed as dangerous, possessed, and worthless. Jacobson further writes that, according to popular belief, “there is always the chance that the spirit might come after anyone who makes contact with a person with a disability…people may be reluctant to touch an individual with a disability because the spell may transfer to them” (2003),resulting in many socially devastating realities. Primarily because people are afraid of disabled people, parents often hide their children away from the public in order to avoid ridicule, teasing and questioning of the family. Others abandon their children on the streets or at the doorsteps of community centers, orphanages and the like, leaving the children to fend for themselves. Jacobson (2003) concludes that this fear also has an impact on polygamy. If a woman gives birth to a disabled child, the man may then leave and try to impregnate another woman. If this new child is born ‘normal,’ it serves as evidence that the disability is actually a product of the mother. This has resulted in the creation of many singlemother households. The adverse view of this group of people also affects the opportunities that they are given. Although the Haitian Constitution states that disabled children “shall have means to ensure their autonomy education and independence” (Jacobson, 2003), the reality is that most do not have access to mainstream schooling, or special education. Moreover, the vast majority of handicapped people are denied employment, access to health services, housing, physical therapy, vocational training, and other specialized services. With limited social and economic protection, the disabled community is among the most vulnerable during disasters, emergencies and conflict.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' As a result of this extensive marginalization, attitudes toward the disabled population hinder the development of Haiti economically both socially, economically, and in terms of national health. Chiefly, it is often the men who hold a job, whereas women take care of the house and children (Jacobson, 2003). When fathers abandon their families and blame the women for the Voudoun ‘curse’ of a disabled child, they are not only leaving them with limited income, but are also creating a negative view of women and reinforcing the gender inequalities within the country. Accordingly, women often become marginalized along with the disabled, with little means to their own self-sufficiency. Thus, women and the disabled are among the dependent population, adding to already steep unemployment rates and resulting in even higher levels of extreme poverty. It is a widely held understanding that this inequity must be diminished, because a country can more easily and speedily develop as their dependent population decreases, since these individuals can form a part of the incomeearning society. Finally, the “World Report on Disability,” written in collaboration by the WHO and the WB, states that disabled people have a “greater vulnerability to preventable secondary conditions, co-morbidities and age-related conditions” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). Explanations for such are that this group is regularly denied access to hospitals and health services, are usually poorer, and often live in extremely hazardous situations (both environmental and sociological). For example, an HIV positive individual who has a low immune system may subsequently contract tuberculosis from his infectious community. Without treatment, this secondary condition may have the potential to be both fatal and contagious to others. With continued denied management, such diseases may spread, affecting more of the population,
and potentially accelerating the spread of pandemics. The cholera outbreak, starting in 2010, is a prime example of the country’s neglect to treat and prevent disease, thus leading to a pandemic. Disasters such as the earthquake of 2010 leave more and more people disabled, which only worsens the problem. In order to truly stop this endless, detrimental cycle, changes must be made. Method: I took my first trip to Haiti in March of 2009, staying with the St. Joseph’s ‘family,’ a tri-party system of homes for children and young adults. For simplicity purposes, I will refer to them as a home, house, or family, as these entities refer to themselves as such, rather than as institutions, organizations or orphanages. St. Joseph’s, the main house, is located in the capital city of Haiti, Port-auPrince, whereas Trinity, the second home, is in Jacmel, a southern beach town and tourist destination. Wings of Hope (WOH), the third home, is found in a town named Fermathe, located in the mountains, roughly an hour by tap-tap from Port-au-Prince. The latter home is for individuals living with mental and physical disabilities. Spending time at WOH, I was able to witness first-hand the devotion, care and love that the St. Joseph’s family has for these children, who are ignored by the majority of the outside community. Early September of 2011, I received news of the death of Belinda, one of the little girls who lived at WOH. Among Belinda’s disabilities were cerebral palsy, eating disorders and failure to thrive (inability to gain weight and meet expected standards of growth). Because she grew very ill in the last few months of her life, one of Belinda’s caretakers brought Belinda to a hospital in order to receive some special care. Belinda was rejected at four different hospitals, arguably due to the stigmas that surround disability in Haiti. I was deeply shocked to hear that the outstanding efforts
being made by WOH were still not being met by the Haitian community at large. Devastated and curious, I decided to further research the realities of living with disability in this country, and to then compare these findings to the recommendations that WHO and the WB have made for low-resource countries. In May 2012, I returned to WOH. During my stay, I conducted two semi-directed interviews with two staff members of the tri-part family. The first interviewee, Jacky, is a young Haitian graduate of the St. Joseph’s home, and now director of WOH. The second interviewee is Renee, an American woman who has a long history with the St. Joseph family. She has been living at the home for 24 years and works as the director of communications for the three homes. The interviews were conducted on the th 24 and 26th of May. Case Study: Wings of Hope Origins and Background: Wings of Hope’s story began in 1994, with Michael Geilenfeld, the founder of St. Joseph’s House. Peter Eyvindson’s storybook entitled “Soni’s Mended Wings,” (1999) recounts the story perfectly. The book begins by describing the dynamics of an orphanage in Haiti that was ‘caring’ for disabled children. Here I put the word caring in quotations because the services the nurses were providing for these children were quite the opposite. The disabled children were often neglected, and treated as if they were “living pieces of furniture” (Eyvindson). One day, Michael and three of the boys from the St. Joseph’s home visited this orphanage, which was planning on shutting down. The boys were hoping to bring one of the kids home with them. However, after seeing how terribly the children were all treated and hearing one nurse refer to them as “bags of flesh [who] don’t think… [or] feel” (Eyvindson), they asked Michael if they could take over the entire orphanage. At first, Michael
was skeptical, because they did not have the funds to carry out such a mission. The boys however, convinced him that “God would provide…” (Eyvindson)Thus, they took over the orphanage. Since then, the children at WOH have been treated with respect, as equal human beings. The St. Joseph’s boys taught Soni, a little boy with cerebral palsy, how to walk. Later, he travelled through North America, dancing with St. Joseph’s Resurrection Dance Theatre (RDT), telling his story, and raising funds for the tri-part family. Wings of Hope Today: Today, WOH provides a loving, encouraging and safe home to 31 children living with a disability, including: cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, autism, and development delays. Without this home, these children would most likely be mistreated and shunned by society. Jacky is the director of the WOH home, his main duties include managing the 32 staff members, making sure that the children are being treated properly, and supervising the general order within the home. The staff members at WOH include teachers, physiotherapists, other specialized therapists, janitors and general care givers, all of whom are predominantly local Haitians. I refer to these personnel as teachers and therapists. However, that does not necessarily mean that they are licensed practitioners. In Haiti, an extremely low-resourced and poor country, people often do not have the same access to education and training that is available in North America. Instead, WOH therapists have been trained by experienced visiting practitioners from other countries. Additionally, WOH hired two special needs Haitians: Soni and Vivianne, both of whom grew up at the home and are now graduates of the WOH. Thus, I conclude that WOH not only provides a safe home for disabled people, but succeeds in helping them become independent individuals, by offering them employment.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' Damage caused by the earthquake of 2010 forced WOH to move to a new location. Luckily, the new building that they currently rent is only a ten minute walk from the previous one. However, it is not accessible for many of the children living in it. Not only is the property itself much smaller than the original one, but there are also many stairs, which are barriers for children in wheelchairs. For the time being, the staff has constructed ramps to get from the first floor to the second; however, they are extremely steep so it takes a great deal of strength to push a wheelchair up or down, which a number of the personnel do not have. Unhappy with this building, WOH aims to build a new home on their property in Jacmel. The plans have been drawn, and they now anticipate obtaining enough funding to complete the project.
Education in Haiti is not accessible to a large proportion of the population, but in mostly all cases, disabled children are denied the opportunity altogether. Services: Renee spoke to me about the diverse services that the WOH provides for their children, ranging from education to different therapies. Primarily, they offer educational classes to most of the children. Education in Haiti is not accessible to a large proportion of the population, but in mostly all cases, disabled children are denied the opportunity altogether. For this reason, WOH developed their own education system, encompassing different levels of lessons, where participation depends on the child’s abilities and cognitive level. These classes include (but are not limited to): math, coloring and crafts, music, and a class designed especially for low-functioning autistic
children. Subsequently, WOH provides a service that they call Work Skills, designed for “the older, higher functioning kids” (R. Dietrich, personal communication, May 24, 2012). The goal of this class is to help the children learn skills that can lead them to be more independent, and offers them a possibility to earn a small amount of money. For example, some of the things that the kids produce include cards, wooden toys, or paintings. These creations are put on display for guests to buy, and if sold, the money is divided between the child who created the art, and funds for sustaining the home. Additionally, WOH offers a number of different therapies, one of which is physical therapy, which Renee says is roughly the same as what is offered to Americans in the United States. Thus, this type of therapy involves the use of massaging, stretching, exercising and other modalities, to either keep the children at the level they are at with regard to strength and control, or to improve their conditions. Second, they have occupational therapy, which again can be compared to what is provided in the United States. Through it, the children learn how to care for themselves in everyday routines. In addition, some children also participate in horseback riding therapy, which, Renee argues, is “well documented to help kids with disability, build up muscle tone and control” (personal communication, May 24, 2012), and has been proven to be successful not only for children with physical challenges, but also for those with behavioral issues. Finally, through recreational therapy, the children have a means to live in a community. When explaining this to me, Renee shared: “we play a lot. We laugh a lot. We worship together. People have responsibilities in the way of chores, and they get allowance for that” (personal communication, May 24, 2012). In other words, WOH gives these children a chance to participate in ‘normal’
everyday activities, and through these activities, the staff at WOH helps them recognize that they are equal. In the future, WOH’s staff would like to also start a swimming program for their children. Every year, the staff takes a large group of the children to a beach in Jacmel; a trip that the children always look forward to and love. They are still looking into the logistics of starting this program, and realize that it will be more attainable to implement when they eventually relocate to Jacmel. Funding: WOH's programs and general procedures principally operate off of private donations. They have two different organizations set up in North America, through which private donors can make individual donations. Additionally, Renee manages an individual sponsorship program, where donors can choose a child to ‘individually’ sponsor, presenting the supporters with a more personal connection to their donations. However, the money does not necessarily go to that child specifically. Instead, it goes into an account that supports everybody in the family, so that the services that a child receives, or how he or she is treated, has no bearing on how many sponsors a child has. Nonetheless, WOH also has other means to obtain funding. As mentioned earlier, St. Joseph’s runs the Resurrection Dance Theatre, which travels North America, performing and sharing their stories with different communities. The members of RDT raise funds for the tri-part home by attracting donations, and ticket sales for shows. Moreover, all three homes have a guest-house set up. Visitors pay a nightly rate of either $20 or $45 CD to stay in the homes, depending on if they wish to have food provided for them or not. Those who opt for the more expensive rate have both breakfast and dinner served. However, due to space and funds constrains, visitors are not always guaranteed a bed or a couch. Often, they are given a mattress and a space on the floor, the roof of the
building, which is many visitors’ favorite as it overlooks the local communities. Finally, WOH has received a few grants for food, and most recently for therapists’ salaries and horseback riding therapy. Admittance: The children of WOH have all arrived in diverse ways, but in almost all cases, have come without any or very little background information. Therefore, it is important to note that the birthdates of the children are often unknown. Thus, their ages are estimated. Likewise, names are often given upon arriving at the home. The majority of their stories provide the same general reasons for their admission to WOH: social (usually linked to spiritual mores) and/or economic. Often, because of the pessimistic view of disability and its negative connotation borrowed from Voudoun, many children have been abandoned by their families. Commonly, they were left at hospitals, or a variety of organizations, which in turn, ask WOH to take them in. Nevertheless, some of the children have been found in even more dramatic situations. For example, one child with numerous mental and intellectual disabilities, named John, was found roaming the streets, by a friend of the St. Joseph’s family. It is assumed that his parents just left him on the streets, with no means to food, shelter or money (Drietrich, 2012). Even more strikingly, Junior, an autistic boy, was also abandoned and was found when he was roughly ten years old, living by himself in a forest (Drietrich, 2012). In all such cases, the children have been brought to WOH, who willingly took the children in as their own. Similarly, there are a handful of other children who have been left on WOH’s doorstep. Take Hope for example. After hearing a loud commotion just outside of their front gates, the directors of WOH went outside to see what was happening. There they found Hope lying on the street with a crowd of people around her. Yet,
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' no one would touch her; to do so “would mean that you would be responsible for her” (Drietrich, 2012). After no one claimed the little girl, the directors took her in, and gave her the name Hope. All of these examples illustrate the potential social reasoning for the children’s admittance. Furthermore, other children come to WOH for economic reasons; parents leave them in the hope of providing them with a better life. These families are not financially or otherwise capable of raising their child, but a number still come and visit them. One boy with cerebral palsy, named Fritz, was born with a brother who has the same condition. His family was only able to care for one of the children, so they brought Fritz to WOH, but still care for the other child (Drietrich, 2012). Likewise, Peterson, an autistic boy with a seizure disorder and some intellectual difficulties, started at WOH as only a day student, at the request of his mother, who knew it would be a safe place for him to be. She is a local and grew to know the staff at WOH. With a change in Peterson’s family situation creating an unsafe home, he moved into WOH as a permanent addition to the family, where he still lives today (Drietrich, 2012). Although these children at WOH came to be a part of this mosaic of family members in different ways, there are some flexible, basic criteria that the directors follow before making a final decision. Primarily, they have to determine whether or not their program would be beneficial for the child, and if he or she would fit well with the other kids, so as not to be disruptive for the home. Secondly, the child has to test negative for communicable diseases such as “HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, and tuberculosis” (R. Dietrich, personal communication, May 24, 2012). However, Renee assures that if anyone is left on the WOH doorstep, they will take them in, regardless of the above listed criteria: “a kid with no other option is never turned away…”
(personal communication, May 24, 2012). Therefore, Renee adds, they “have brought in children who had a communicable disease, which they then treat, or a child who was a tough fit, but we try to figure that out” (personal communication, May 24, 2012). That being said, there has been a halt on taking in new children since the earthquake, because of WOH’s temporarily smaller building. They do plan to reinstate their normal operations after they move to Jacmel. The Community: Wings of Hope takes in all of these children who are left with no other option, who have been shunned by society, thus denied proper access to social well-being. In the discourse of Health Promotion, WOH is doing an excellent job at providing their children with supportive environments which are “safe, stimulating, enjoyable and satisfying” (1986), and an occasion to achieve equity within their home and learn life skills. WOH provides these children with opportunity and possibilities. They are thus a great example of the outstanding efforts made by individual institutions in Haiti to address the issue of disability. I asked Jacky and Renee what they would suggest for other groups that wish to start a home like theirs. Their responses were very similar, both touched on the stigmas that disabled children have to face within the community. Jacky argued that you must love what you are doing, because sometimes it is very hard, but the benefit of succeeding in any way, is well worth the battle. Moreover, he said that you really have to change the personal views of the children. Before coming to WOH, they have such a negative view of themselves, “they do not see themselves as human beings” (personal communication, May 26, 2012). If you make the children feel like they have value, and that they are just as ‘human’ as the rest, then you open the door for them to opportunities. Renee stated that she does not
have any grocery list of advice; instead she suggested that it is imperative to go “day by day” (personal communication, May 24, 2012). However, Renee did stress the importance of empowering the children to make their own goals, instead of setting ones for them. When Renee has done that, she says that “ [the children have] blown me away with what they can do” (personal communication, May 24, 2012). Whatever the child’s goal, the WOH team will find a way to help them accomplish it. Renee left me with such uplifting, inspiring words referring to the WOH children, that I believe the organization is a perfect example for any other group looking to start such an institution, anywhere in the world. A lot of them are very intelligent human beings trapped in bodies that don’t work, and to treat them as people who, you know, are not intelligent, just because of the way their bodies work or …because their minds do things to them that are not ‘normal’ is not really fair. They need to have a voice in what their future is, and we want to empower them to do that. That’s us. (personal communication, May 24, 2012) WOH has succeeded by changing the mind frame of the children, for the better. Healing Hands is an international non-profit organization that works in areas of need, teaching rehabilitative training and education. They have a history of working with establishments similar to WOH in Haiti, and told Renee that they are definitely the “best of what they have seen, in terms of what they can do for the kids and the way they are treated”
Healing Hands is an international non-profit organization that works in areas of need, teaching rehabilitative training and education.
(personal communication, May 24, 2012). However, does this success reach beyond their walls? Renee argues that they have seen some positive changes that, though small, are not insignificant. Every so often, some of the kids at WOH go to Baptist Mission (a local restaurant run by Baptists) for lunch. Everyone on the streets will usually stop, stare and make rude comments about the children. However, after getting to know them, the staff at Baptist Mission, as well as many of the street vendors leading to the restaurant, shoo the gawkers away and tell them to be quiet. This is a positive sign for a hopefully progressive acceptance of disabled children within the community. Moreover, some of the WOH staff occasionally bring their own children into work, where they play and intermingle with the disabled children. Renee is hopeful that this will spark a contagious effect of their acceptance within Haitian community as well. If the staff’s children are brought up in an environment where disabled children are the norm, or in Renee’s words, “cool,” Then, maybe when they go back out to their schools or neighborhoods, they can stand up for handicapped people who are treated poorly. These two examples show progress of moving away from viewing disability as a curse, to a state of social integration. Health promotion stresses the importance of creating supportive environments, because “our societies are complex and interrelated. Health cannot be separated from other goals” (World Health Organisation, 1986). Under this guideline, it is argued that there needs to be an encouragement of “reciprocal maintenance” (World Health Organisation) through which members of a society take care of each other, their communities, and their environment. In the above mentioned cases, the Baptist Mission staff, the vendors and even the children of WOH staff members are in fact helping the disabled children interact within
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' their environment, thus having more access within their communities. However, although there are some hopeful signs of progress in the acceptance of disabled people within Haiti, WOH has also witnessed many let downs. Belinda’s story exemplifies this exceptionally well. This young girl joined the WOH family in 2007, when she was roughly one or two years old. She was in bad shape when she first arrived, but the staff at WOH nursed her back to health. Among her disabilities were: cerebral palsy, eating disorders and failure to thrive. These disorders inhibited her growth and ability to gain weight, causing secondary issues. Belinda’s new family further described her as the following: Despite her physical obstacles, Belinda was a very bright little girl with a huge personality. She had the biggest, brightest smile in the world and used it, and fluttering her deep, dark eyes and long eyelashes to charm everyone who came near her. One look at Belinda and people would melt and fight for the chance to hold her. She was absolutely beautiful, inside and out ("Belinda ~ Rest in Peace," 2011). Near the end of her life, at the age of five or six Belinda had trouble eating, which made it nearly impossible for her to get the nourishment she needed. After many attempts to help Belinda, both by WOH caregivers and local friends who were doctors, they finally decided that she needed to get medical attention from a hospital. However, they were turned away from four different hospitals, leaving her to die in the arms of her loving caregivers. All four of these hospitals had the same reasoning for turning Belinda away: her disabilities. As a result of this saddening case, the “Belinda Project” became a human rights advocacy campaign, designed to improve the
way children with special needs are treated within Haitian society. According to the project, the hospitals’ staff did not want to treat somebody with a disability. When seeing that Belinda had some physical limitations, they would refuse to have a doctor even see her. One hospital actually directly stated that “they did not treat people with disabilities” ("Belinda ~ Rest in Peace," 2011). Another doctor at a later hospital told them that "This isn't what we do, these aren't the people we see" ("Belinda ~ Rest in Peace," 2011). Faced with no other options, the caregivers went to the courtyard outside of the facility, holding Belinda, where they sat for a long time, and not once did a hospital employee come and offer them help.
This plan should create enabling environments, in which barriers in the built environment are removed. I argue, however, that although this stigma surrounding disabled people might have had an important impact on the outcome of this situation, Haiti’s limited resources also played a pairing role, as this limitation puts the country in a context that is focused upon survival instead of well-being. Because Haiti is a poor country with little to offer to its citizens in terms of health services, perhaps the reason for the hospitals’ refusal to see Belinda is more specifically that they did not want to use their minimal time, money and supplies to help someone who was considered ‘cursed’. More importantly, in this context, it could be considered as a waste to help someone who can never be totally ‘cured;’ that is to say, that would never become ‘normal.’ This can be compared to ageism in health care provision, where more aggressive and costly treatment may de denied to elderly patients. World Health Organization and the World Bank: World Bank Report
The WB and WHO recognize this inequality, which exists not only in Haiti, but in many other countries worldwide. In 2011, both organizations collaborated to create the World Disability Report (WDR). After providing statistics concerning disabled people around the world, the WDR discussed the barriers that this population has to face. These barriers include: inadequate policies, negative attitudes on the part of their societies, lack of provision of services, problems with service delivery, inadequate funding, lack of accessibility, lack of consultation and involvement in society, and finally, lack of data and evidence of the issue (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). Subsequently, the WDR provides recommendations for countries to address these barriers, ways in which to do so depend on the country’s context. For the purpose of this article, I discuss only the recommendations made for low-resource countries (LRCs), because this most accurately describes Haiti. To improve the lives of disabled people and ensure their equality within society, the WDR advises that a country should “adopt a national disability strategy plan for action” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). This plan should create enabling environments, in which barriers in the built environment are removed. This can be done, for example, through the implementation of ramps and pavement, instead of stairs and gravel. By removing these barriers, handicapped people might have the physical means to utilize public areas. This national plan of action should also “enable [disabled people] access to all mainstream systems and services” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). Although the implementation of laws and policies that allow disabled children access to mainstream education would require a change in the school systems, their curriculum, funding, and the like, it would also ensure an increase in universal primary education completion, and a
decrease in discrimination. Anti-discrimination laws should also be made to promote employment of disabled persons. Additionally, to increase access to health and specialized services, there needs to be an “increase in human capacity” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). To obtain this, LRCs should implement community-based rehabilitation (CBR) programs, which work primarily through the combined efforts of disabled people, their families, and communities, instead of using professional therapists. Through this mechanism, communities can provide programs for disabled people to obtain the specialized services that they require, as well as present them with an opportunity to be more involved in their communities. CBR makes rehabilitation more readily accessible in rural areas because the leader of the program does not have to be a professional (Organisation, n.d.-a). Likewise, it also provides Haitian communities the opportunity to use mixed or graded levels of training. In other words, CBR therapists would help to address the lack of highly qualified professionals in an LRC, where inadequate funding and training opportunities exist. This would not only be an excellent way to increase training capacity, but also one of the “first steps to addressing gaps in rehabilitation personnel in developing countries” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). To further address issues of equality within communities, LRCs should also promote the involvement of disabled people in decision making and planning. The WDR states that “people with disabilities are entitled control over their lives and therefore need to be consulted on issues that concern them directly” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). Disabled people can aid in the training and education of the community-based workers described above. Not only would this provide more access for this marginalized group to the
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' health and other specialized services they might require, but it would also include their perspectives as to how things should be run. Taking their personal perspectives into account is extremely important because they will most likely lead to devising successful strategies that lead to development. The WDR also states that there needs to be investment in “specific programs and services for people with disabilities” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011), such as rehabilitation, support, and training. When employing disabled persons, employers should administer sufficient training, supervision, transportation and assistive technology to ensure that their employee has the means to complete his or her job safely and successfully. LRCs should also provide adequate funding for organizations, institutions and individuals that help disabled persons. In such countries, this group is often an ostracized population, with limited access to employment and thus little or no income. By providing organizations with financial support, these people will have a better prospect to reach their potential as active members of society. Finally, to decrease the barriers which disabled people face, it is imperative to improve the understanding of ‘disability’ both at an institutional-research level, and within the greater national community. An improvement in disability data collection and an increase in support of disability research results in a greater understanding of the issues surrounding such group, which might subsequently provide ideas as to how to provide more opportunities for this marginalized community. At a national level, there also needs to be an “increase in public awareness and understanding” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). According to WDR, it is the job of governments, organizations, and associations to conduct social marketing
At a national level, there also needs to be an “increase in public awareness and understanding” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). campaigns to “change attitudes on stigmatized issues surround[ing] issues such as HIV, [and] mental illness” (World Health Organisation & The World Bank, 2011). The media plays a key role in this initiative, with its multiple ways to reach different communities. Due to high illiteracy rates, and cost associated with both print and film mediums, it is best to stay away from newspapers and television. Instead, a focus on building awareness through the hundreds of private radio stations that exist in Haiti would reach more of the population, as “oral forms of communication are preferred over written”, making the radio the most important medium in Haiti (Jacobson, 2003). Moreover, public poster and billboard advertisements is another avenue the BSEIPH should explore, as it would eliminate the issues associate with illiteracy rates, and its success would not depend on the little income of most Haitian citizens. Haiti: Addressing the Barriers: Michel Martelly, the president of Haiti, and Gary Conille, now ex-Prime Minister, appointed Gerald Oriol Junior as the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disability in Haiti. Oriol, described by Buisness Wire as “the personification of rising above one’s physical limitations” ("Haitain President Martelly and Prime Minister Gary Conille Appoint Humanitarian and Activist Gerald Oriol, Jr. as Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Dissabilities," 2011), is an educated man who has overcome muscular dystrophy. Believing that everyone,
handicapped or not, should have the opportunity and support to “reach their full potential and be a contributing member of society” ("Haitain President Martelly and Prime Minister Gary Conille Appoint Humanitarian and Activist Gerald Oriol, Jr. as Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Dissabilities," 2011). He also believes that, by empowering disabled people, Haiti’s development will improve as a whole. In fact, Business Wire quotes Oriol saying: “It is not just a question of human rights and equal opportunity. A person with disability can be as effective as a nondisabled person in the workplace, and in many instances even more effective. Undoubtedly, efforts to integrate disabled people will help tap underused resources and skills for national development” ("Haitain President Martelly and Prime Minister Gary Conille Appoint Humanitarian and Activist Gerald Oriol, Jr. as Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Dissabilities," 2011). The BSEIPH general mission is thus to change the general living conditions for handicapped people and to work to incorporate them in all spheres of social life. Moreover, it aims to ensure that all sectors of the national community (public and private) take responsibility in guaranteeing this integration (Bureau du Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées, 2012). To accomplish this, it has set out five main goals for 2012: reinforce its capacity, along with that of other associations for handicapped people; increase access to both mainstream and specialized education and vocational training; increase employment opportunities for disabled people; make infrastructure (buildings, roads, and so forth) more accessible; and work on the adoption and implementation of a Haitian law
for the integration of disabled people, as well as any other tools to help them along the process (Bureau du Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées, 2012). Evidently, these goals, which the BSEIPH intend to meet by the end of 2012, reflect the dismantling of barriers that the WHO and WB set out in the WDR. In this following section, I will examine the different steps Oriol and his team take to accomplish these aspirations, and their relation to the recommendations that the WDR made for LRCs, such as Haiti. To begin, Oriol and the Bureau have worked on reinforcing institutions that aid disabled people. Primarily, he completely reorganized the Bureau by creating different units and services, as well as employing different managerial staff in the hope that this new organization would better aid in carrying out programs at a national level. Next, they helped 64 handicapped associations reinforce their institutions, by providing them with financial support ranging from 25 000 to 500 000 gourds (~ 590 CAD to ~ 11 805 CAD). Moreover, the BSEIPH invested in training these associations, through which staff learned skills such as how to write reports and organize their programs in sustainable ways. When comparing BSEIPH’s accomplishments with the dismantling of barriers that WDR recommended, one can draw many parallels. Primarily, by aiding the numerous associations for disable people and the financial and capacity investments in specialized programs, the BSEIPH is reducing barriers to lack of services and inadequate funding in disabilityfocused programs. Finally, they are also taking steps toward the implementation of a national disability strategy, because they have revamped the entire Bureau. In addition, the BSEIPH has also taken great strides toward its education and training goals. It has formed a partnership with the
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' Institut national supérieur de formation et de recherche pour l’éducation des jeunes handicapés et les enseignement adaptés (INSHEA) in the hope of creating special education programs for disabled children in Haiti. Moreover, it has provided 140 disabled students with education grants, allowing them to attend school. Yet again, it is clear that the Bureau is taking measures similar to those recommended in the WDR. By enabling access to mainstream systems and services, and providing financial support to children who would otherwise not have the means to education, the BSEIPH is once again addressing the barriers of lack of adequate funding, and on a larger scale, is also beginning to implement the national disability strategy plan. Subsequently, the BSEIPH has worked toward the integration of disabled peoples within the employment and entrepreneurship sectors. Not only has it influenced and administered the official hiring of four professional handicapped people, but it also ensured that 120 disabled Haitians would receive income for work they did within various organizations, such as Voilà, a telecommunications company, and J’aime Haiti, an organization striving to increase the economic and social opportunities for the youth. Furthermore, the BSEIPH provided financial aid to 158 people in a bad economic situation, and created two memorandums concerning the facilitation of integrating disabled people within the labor market. One was signed by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) in Haiti, a non-profit organization who strives to give youth a voice in the rebuilding of the country, whereas the other was signed by the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie d’Haiti. Undoubtedly, these accomplishments meet the WDR recommendations, by financially aiding handicapped people and enabling access to mainstream systems and services (in this case employment). Moreover, by the
creating and signing of the two memorandums, they are once again moving toward the adoption of a nation disability strategy plan. Disabled people’s accessibility to Haitian buildings and general infrastructure has also advanced greatly. First and foremost, information regarding universal design (accessible to all), is being advertised both on the radio and television by a number of different media. There has also been a training system set up by the Bureau in partnership with Christian Blind Mission (CBM), to teach 20 municipal engineers about universal design. Furthermore, the individuals or institutions who promote this universal design in their buildings will be funded by the BSEIPH. One special needs school called Foyer d’Amour has already benefited from the development of ramps on their grounds. Finally, a platform has been created in partnership with CBM and Handicap International to exchange and share technological resources and practices within Haiti. Here too, one can draw the parallels between the WDR and Oriol’s advancements. There have been investments in special programs for disabled people, through training for universal design and the development of ramps in a special education school, thus meeting the recommendations to address lack of services, access and funding. Finally, the advertising of universal design via the media, stresses Haiti’s attempt at increasing public awareness of incorporating people with special needs into society. In addition, the BSEIPH has also done a great deal to specifically raise awareness and understandings of disabled people in Haiti, with the hope of reducing the stigma. On March 13, 2012, the Loi sur l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapés au Sénat de la République voted in favor of launching an awareness campaign. Since then, three lectures on disability issues have been given, in collaboration with a youth organization in Croix-de-Bouquets, by the
Christian Service (a foundation that works with farmers, women and young people in rural communities across Haiti to promote development and participation), and by the University of Notre Dame D’Haiti. TV Nationale d’Haiti has also launched a weekly column following the activities of the BSEIPH. Finally, the Association of Haitian Football Amputees and Christian Blind Mission hosted an amputee soccer tournament with the goal of educating people on the rights of handicapped people, and their true potential. Evidently, all of these actions are raising awareness regarding disabled people in Haiti, making apparent what it is like to live with a disability, paralleling again WDR’s recommendation to increase awareness and understanding. Conclusions Disabled people, especially in developing countries such as Haiti, are a highly marginalized population. In Haiti, this is largely due to the country’s attachment to the spiritual traditions of Voudoun. Because this practice views disability as a ‘curse’, the disabled tend to be stigmatized and even ostracized. Adding to this is the country’s extreme lack of adequate resources, capacity, and funding, keeping the country in a context of survival rather than well-being. This means that the limited resources that are available do not reach the disabled, as they are already ‘tainted’ as cursed, and their situation cannot be reversed. While examining Wings of Hope at an independent level, I claim that they have succeeded in providing their children with a situation that promotes health, as described by the Ottawa Charter. However, through understanding the dynamics at play in both the Belinda story and the way children are admitted to WOH, I conclude that outside of this home, disabled Haitians still face a very challenging context.
With the reinstatement and reorganization of the BSEIPH, Oriol has overseen many projects and campaigns to accomplish his goals for 2012. Undoubtedly, there have been advancements in addressing some of the barriers that the WHO and WB mentioned in the WDR, which have been accomplished though the recommendations that the Report sets out for low-resourced countries. That is not to say that the BSEIPH has necessarily based its action plan on those recommendations, but rather that there might be a coincidence in their resemblance. The areas in which Oriol oversaw the most progress of the dismantling of barriers, such as lack of adequate services and funding for disabledfocused organizations and people, access to mainstream systems and services, and access to facilities that address their specific needs and allow them to function in their society. Oriol has also made great strides towards a national disability strategy plan, as well as towards building awareness and attempting to create understanding of this marginalized group. These efforts do not go unnoticed by people working in the disability and development spheres in Haiti, but are not enough to ensure a stable foundation for a national integration of the disabled. Many of the recommendations that the WDR made have not been met by Haitian personnel, and some of the barriers presented have yet to be addressed. That being said, the integration of disabled people into Haitian society is a work in progress, and the projects of the BSEIPH are ongoing initiatives. My assessment of this situation is current as of May 14th, 2012. Before any of these aspects can be touched upon, the BSEIPH needs to put more effort into their advocacy and awareness campaigns. These projects need to touch a great proportion of the national population, so that Haiti can see real changes and advancements in the way that disabled people are viewed and treated. This is
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' a crucial foundation upon which the BSEIPH can build on and address the other barriers this ostracized community faces. Dr. Michel Pean, former Secretary of State for the Inclusion of Persons with Disability in Haiti, once stated that, “if people with a disability are ever going to be included in mainstream society in Haiti, the attitude of the general public towards disability has to be changed first” (The Atlas Alliance & CBM, n.d.). Like Dr. Pean, I argue that it is of absolute importance to have this groundwork established, so that more stories of generosity and understanding can occur, such as the one of the staff of Baptist Mission and the surrounding vendors. When this happens, the society will be poised to create conditions “that allow the attainment of health by all its members” (World Health Organisation, 1986), and will thus allow for a higher proportion of the disabled people to access mainstream resources. For example, if Belinda’s disabilities had been accepted by the hospital personnel, and she had been viewed as an equal rather than an outcast, she would have had a higher chance of being seen by a doctor. This can potentially be mirrored in other social circumstances such as education, employment, and so forth. Subsequently, as disabled people become more accepted and integrated into Haitian society, local and foreign players may be more attracted to invest in specialized programs for disabled people. The St. Joseph’s family uses as slogan to describe their efforts at Wings of Hope: “possibilities not disabilities”. The BSEIPH should strive to make the disabled Haitian community feel equal, human, and capable of achieving its own aspirations. In other words, the BSEIPH should support health for the disabled as described by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. In order to start on this endeavor, there needs to be a greater acceptance of this group. With this, more barriers can be dismantled and the dependant
population will decrease, enabling an easier development of Haiti. Works Cited Belinda ~ Rest in Peace. (2011). The Belinda Project. from http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-belindaproject/belinda-rest-in-peace/282390005105221 Bureau du Secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intégration des Personnes Handicapées (Producer). (2012). Bilan des Activités. [Slide Show] Drietrich, Renee (Producer). (2012). Wings of Hope: A Home for Physically and Mentally Challenged Children and Young Adults. [Document] Retrieved from http://www.heartswithhaiti.org/images/2012%20win gs%20bio%20book%20full.pdf Eyvindson, Peter. (1999). Soni's Mended Wings. Canada: Broken Wings Missions Inc. Haitain President Martelly and Prime Minister Gary Conille Appoint Humanitarian and Activist Gerald Oriol, Jr. as Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Dissabilities. (2011, December 15). Business Wire. Retrieved from http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2011121 5006364/en/Haitian-President-Martelly-PrimeMinister-Gary-Conille Jacobson, Erik. (2003). An Introduction to Haitian Culture for Rehabilitation Service Providers CIRRIE, J. Stone (Ed.) Retrieved from http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/culture/monographs/haiti.pd f Organisation, World Health. (n.d.-a). Community-Based Rehab (CBR). Disabilities and Rehabilitation. Retrieved October 10, 2012., from http://www.who.int/disabilities/cbr/en/ Organisation, World Health. (n.d.-b). Disabilities. Health Topics. Retrieved October 12, 2012, from http://www.who.int/topics/disabilities/en/ Shukshin, Andrei. (2005). Disabled often among the 'poorest of poor'. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, 83, 12. Retrieved from World Health Organisation website: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/83/4/news040 5/en/index.html The Atlas Alliance, & CBM. (n.d.). Fact Sheet: Disability in Conflicts and Emergencies. Retrieved from http://www.atlas-alliansen.no/Faktaark-htmlversjon/Disability-in-Conflicts-and-Emergencies. UNDP. (2011). Haiti: International Human Development Indicators. Retrieved December 6, 2012. http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/HTI.ht ml United Nations. (2006). Some Facts about Persons with Disabilities. International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Dissabilities. Retrieved May 1, 2012, from http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=18 World Health Organisation. (1986). Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Retrieved from World Health Organisation website: http://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/pr evious/ottawa/en/ World Health Organisation, & The World Bank. (2011). Summary: World Report on Disability. (WHO/NMH/VIP/11.01). World Health Organisation Retrieved from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2011/WHO_NMH_VIP_1 1.01_eng.pdf.
The Travels of a T-Shirt and a Curious Consumer
By: Victoria Wan
Rivoli, Pietra. The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy: an Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade, 2nd edition. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. 336 pp. A cross between a New York Times article and a memoir, The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy is a worthwhile read if you want be more informed about the intricacies of international trade and globalization. Curious about the road travelled by her t-shirt before landing in her hands, Pietra Rivoli went from Texas to China to Miami to Washington D.C. to Africa. The people she met along the way shared with her a personal story that denoted
the role of each in the globalizing forces of the t-shirt market. She did not learn what she was expecting. As a teacher of international business, finance, and social issues in business, the Georgetown University professor believed in the power of market forces and the advantages of free trade. However, as she discovered, her t-shirt actually encountered very few free markets. In this second edition published four years after the first, Rivoli includes important points brought up by her readers and colleagues, most of which involved environmental issues. After many follow-up trips
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' to the same locations, Rivoli is able to provide updates as to the many levels of t-shirt’s development.
However, as she discovered, her t-shirt actually encountered very few free markets. Our final stop in Rivoli’s t-shirt’s intricate road is Gary Sandler. He’s the owner of Sherry Manufacturing Company in Miami. He makes, among many things, souvenir t-shirts for a living. This is not just some small store on a touristy stretch of the city; it’s the real deal. In fact, his company is one of the largest t-shirts screen printers in America, selling its product in Florida’s Key West, Alaska’s Mount Denali, and even in Europe. Why, you may ask, is it important to meet Gary? And what is his role in the global apparel industry? Rivoli answers this question in what she calls a “biography” of a cotton t-shirt, the people, the politics and the market that created it, and the globalization. Another player in the global commodity chain of apparel manufacturing is Mr. Xu Zhao Min, who makes Gary’s t-shirts. His American customers actually call him Patrick. Rivoli first meets him in 1999 during one of his Shanghai Knitwear business trips to the United States. There, he was interrogated by Rivoli, passionate for the truth and hoping to better understand to the problematic process of globalization. She wanted to know everything: where the t-shirt was sewn, the fabric knit, the yarn spun, and the cotton grown. Interestingly, Patrick could bring her to every location, except the last one. “I think the cotton is grown very far from Shanghai,” he said, “Probably in Teksa.” With the spin of a globe, Rivoli understood where he meant: Texas. Along the way, many other people are introduced and their role in the t-shirt’s journey analyzed. When Rivoli goes to China, she learns about the lives of factory workers, who are
predominantly female. She discusses the increased freedoms and opportunities that these women have in the city which, despite its tough working conditions, empowers them and changes their lives significantly. They partake in the “race to the bottom,” in which countries compete with each other for the lowest production costs. In fact, China’s growing production costs in the apparel industry have prompted greater competition from his neighbours, including Vietnam and Indonesia, though this Asian giant will still dominate this market for at least the next few decades. An interesting point that Rivoli makes is that all countries that have won this race to the bottom in the apparel industry have become successful in other industries and, eventually, more industrialized. In the chapter ‘Sisters in Time,’ Jiang Lan and Liang Yeng, both female clothing factory workers, are compared to Bertha Black of 1899 North Carolina and women of mid1800 Britain. In sociologist Ching Kwan Lee’s research on early-1990s sweatshop work in China, Liang Yeng suggests that life in rural China is less preferable than sweatshop work in the apparel factories: “It is really hard work. Every morning, from 4 AM to 7 AM you have to cut through the bark of 400 rubber trees in total darkness. It has to be done before day break; otherwise the sunshine will evaporate the rubber juice. If you were me, what would you prefer, the factory or the farm?” Farm work and factory work is most clearly distinguished by the change in women’s personal and financial independence. Control of personal income and choices is the connecting factor that Rivoli makes between the women factory workers over time. Autonomy, more than money, is what is gained through factory work. Farm work often restricts that autonomy when it comes to buying one’s own clothes and entertainment. Yet perhaps this independence is overemphasized. If freedom is personal liberty and unrestricted choice, factory work can
also be very restraining. Contracts, excessive overtime work, and poor working conditions are just a few constraints of factory work that, while different from farm work, are restrictive nonetheless. Independence comes with a price and not every factory worker gets the more gentle transition to modern city life in a fastpaced industrializing country. On a macro level, this challenge is accentuated into demands not only for labour protection, but also environmental protection. Rivoli duly notes that economic growth from such industries as the apparel manufacturing does not create protective regulations and laws on its own either. In sharp contrast with Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lacking protective regulations, American protectionist measures are calculated to the button and fabric. Back in America, Rivoli shares another side of the global apparel industry, a side which dictates the rules of the game from the capital of the still-largest economic power. In perhaps one of the most shocking parts of the book, the American apparel industry is largely favoured by the intricacies of the regulations, tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions. In sharp contrast with Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lacking protective regulations, American protectionist measures are calculated to the button and fabric. Despite the intentions, Rivoli points out that these policies are actually damaging to the industries in the long run
In sharp contrast with Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lacking protective regulations, American protectionist measures are calculated to the button and fabric. because they reduce the competitiveness of American textiles and apparels, as well as create regulatory risk from the aforementioned restrictions.
One of the most intriguing sections raised in the book was the practice of protectionism. Especially in a country that claims to promote free trade, why would the United States continue to implement strict trade regulations in the textile and apparel industries? These policies are counterintuitive. Yet, Rivoli discusses the strong forces behind these industries as well as why they changed. Protectionist policies were in place for over sixty years for three reasons: (1) the size of the American textile and apparel industries, (2) their strong alliance between themselves, and (3) their access to policymakers. Though the industry is not very large (500,000 workers in 2008), these families have been a part of the same communities for a long time and their concentration in few key states like Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina also give them an advantage in Congress near election time. There was also a form of protectionist policies in the cotton farming industries of Texas which were embodied in subsidies rather than trade policy and were also a result of friends in high places. Protectionist policies changed because the U.S. policies were not saving jobs and keeping the American textile and apparel industries thriving, as they were intended to do. Existing firms were constantly restricted by their own trade policies for accessing cheaper and more fashionable foreign fabrics, which was necessary for their survival. A greater range of fabric choices, increasing quality, and price competitiveness just made sense for the business. This reason for change is a direct response to the protectionist policies; they simply were not fulfilling their function anymore. Lastly, her t-shirt takes her from a Salvation Army bin to Africa, where a thriving second-hand apparel industry uses clothing from places as far away as the Unites States and Europe. What exactly happens after clothing is donated to the Salvation Army? Well,
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' it takes part in the American textile recycling industry, which involves thousands of small family businesses, a stage in the t-shirt’s life that is often overlooked. This is a place where “vintage” clothing is still in fashion and consequently resold at a higher price. Though Rivoli does not actually donate her t-shirt to continue the biography, this section provides some insight into the ending of a t-shirts journey. Criticism International trade can be difficult to discuss abstractly. A book like this, which focuses on a single product, can clarify specific relationships and issues in the textile and apparel industry. Yet, it is able to criticize the concept and process of globalization as a whole as well. Rivoli does not oversimplify issues in the international trade of her t-shirt, yet she does end up favouring one side of globalization: the market. Globalization takes on positive possibilities for women in Chinese apparel factories. Despite the harsh working conditions, Rivoli reasons, women can become empowered by attaining economic opportunities and independence that otherwise would be impossible. Whether it is buying one’s own clothes or paying off an arranged marriage, the women that Rivoli meets as a whole have new possibilities available because of their factory job. In fact, many are able to develop skills and
advance to better positions. However, while these positive effects are true, working conditions are also very problematic where low pay and long work hours limit the number of years that women workers can thrive in this environment. Therefore, the book often blames state intervention for skewed market results. What is dubbed the “race to the bottom” requires regulations by the state to make certain markets more advantageous at the international level. In the United States, the heavily-subsidized cotton industry has proven to become disadvantageous because, as mentioned, they failed to keep the industries successful. In China, government regulations for urban migration known as “hukou” are another form of state intervention that controls labour movement between the countryside and the city. Loopholes of this regulation allow migrant workers to temporarily live and work in cities, but at an often-exploitative cost. In the end, people like Gary Sandler and Xu Zhao Min become faces in the commodity chain of the global textile and apparel industry. What can be taken away from this book is that discussing market forces and international trade requires a refocusing on the key players, whether they are big or small, or economicallyor politically-motivated to be there.
48 Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1'
The Impacts of Formal Pre-Schools on the Social and Educational Development of Ghanaian Children By: Renaud Comba
Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the effects of pre-school on the educational and social/behavioral development of Ghanaian children. The case study is based on 143 students attending the El-Shaddai International School Complex in a small community called Agbozume-Klikor. Through an examination of the impacts of early educational programs on children from the First World, it is found that pre-school in Ghana affects individuals in a comparable way. A strong correlation has been found specifically between the average grade of a child in primary school and their attendance to a pre-school institution when he/she was younger. Early educational programs influence positively the average grade of an individual. The ultimate purpose of this paper is to expand upon literature and scholarsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work linking the effect of Ghanaian pre-school institutions and the development of this country.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' I.
Introduction In the field of international development studies, practical and academic work relating to education of the youth generations has been expanding. The Millennium Development Goals and its universal primary education objective is one of many examples of this new phenomenon. Today, education is seen as a crucial way to achieve development in the third world. As Ghana is the only country that might be able to reach1 the MDG’s goal on primary education2, studying its educational system will shed light on the problems found in its scholastic system. Ghana’s educational system has been shaped through the centuries by diverse European ideologies as Western countries colonized the Gold Coast. In 1572, “the Portuguese undertook the earliest educational experiments on the
"MDG Monitor." MDG Monitor. United Nations, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. <http://www.mdgmonitor.org/map.cfm?goal=1> . This MDG’s tracking tool shows that Ghana has an index of 71.5% concerning the MDGs 2: Primary Education, which is the highest is subSaharan Africa and one of the highest in Africa. 2 2008 Ghana Millenium Development Goals. Rep. N.p.: United Nations, April 2010. United Nations. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. 19-24 <http://web.undp.org/africa/documents/mdg/gha na_april2010.pdf>. 19-20. “At the KG level, remarkable success has been achieved exceeding the 2015 target by 24.9% in 2008”.
Gold Coast”3. The Dutch and British in 1644 founded the first Ghanaian school in the castle of Elmina4. The late 19th century was marked by the expansion of education in poor societies as religious communities, mainly Christians, saw in education an opportunity to gain dominance in these societies5. “Although Western-type schools have been one of the principal agents of modernization and political change in contemporary Africa”6, the independence of Ghana in 1957 allowed the Ghanaian educational system to innovate new forms of schools everywhere in the country7. Today, Ghana “possesses the most elaborated school system in sub-Saharan Africa”8. As the geopolitical situation of the world is changing toward a globalized and 3
Foster, Philip J. Education and Social Change in Ghana,. [Chicago]: University of Chicago, 1965. Print. 3 4 Ibid, 44 - 46 « The Dutch were responsible for the foundation of a school at Elmina in 1644 » & « The second was the slow, almost imperceptible extension of British control over the coastal region ». 5 Graham, Charles Kwesi. The History of Education in Ghana: From the Earliest times to the Declaration of Independence. London: F. Cass, 1971. Print. 28-181 “Fully realized and insisted upon that education should be extended to the poor through the medium of voluntary religious societies, and that this education should be suffused with morality and religion”. 6 Foster, Philip J. Education and Social Change in Ghana,. [Chicago]: University of Chicago, 1965. Print. 292 7 Ibid, 8-9 « Since independence many of the educational problems associated with the early period of colonial overrule have been exacerbated […] indeed, in some respect the educational system has become even more like the metropolitan model ». 8 Ibid, Preface vii
homogeneous world, there are more opportunities for Ghana to develop its educational system in order to strive toward a better and more universal scholastic framework. It is only since the creation of the Head Start program by the U.S.A. in 1965, that pre-school became an important notion9 for Western educational programs. As the importance of pre-school is becoming well known, scholars are interested in finding what are the effects of pre-school on a child’s future. The effects are varied and often significant. Statistics show that social behaviors and educational results are decisively influenced by whether a child attended a form of early educational program or not. As this notion of pre-school recently emerged in the international community, there is a lack of studies about its impacts in Africa and more generally in developing countries. The empirical purpose of this paper is to study the effects of formal preschools on the social and educational development of Ghanaian children. This paper will first consider the common definition of pre-school and its impacts on the Western world. The Abecedarian Study and the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project published in 1999 and 2000, respectively, after following hundreds of American children for a range
Because pre-school has been considered as affecting every aspects of a child’s life by experts (teachers in early educational programs, psychologist, doctors, psychiatrists...), preschool is considered as an educational notion as well as a scholastic institution.
of 21 to 27 years10. Their major findings can be classified into two main categories. On the first hand, these studies show that pre-school has an important influence on the educational development of children. On the other hand, they also explain how pre-school has such a crucial influence on the social and behavioral development of a child. In the next section, the paper will examine the conceptual framework of the study made in Ghana. Data has been collected in a small community called Agbozume-Klikor, situated South-East of Ghana. A survey was distributed to 143 students attending El-Shaddai International School Complex. Students’ environmental conditions have been taken into consideration as well as their grades for the last three semesters. The third section aims to analyze the data gathered in this community. This will be done through several econometric regressions with multiple regressors. The main objective of the empirical part of this paper will be to control for several variables in order to witness the real impacts of pre-school on students. Finally, the fourth section will compare the major findings from this study with the conclusions made by other 10
Barnett, Steven W. Preschool Education and Its Lasting Effects: Research and Policy Implications. Rep. N.p.: National Institute for Early Education Research Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Sept 2008. Print. 9-14 “This study [Abecedarian] followed 111 children from program entry through age 21 with a largely intact sample” & “The Perry study followed 123 children from preschool well into adulthood”.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' scholars. The analytical section will then discuss why it has been complicated to control all variables and thus, why the study might have significant measurement errors. Because of the findings made, II Definitions and Impacts of Pre-school in Western Nations 1. Definitions Recently, the notion of pre-school attracted a lot of attention. Thus, it has been hard for scholars to decide upon a global definition. Official governments around the world have also tried to define this phenomenon. Because there is no clear common understanding of this concept, “many of the policy and financial conditions that shape the nature and effectiveness of pre-K programs and early childhood education more generally are changing rapidly”11. However, a general definition of early childhood education given by Peters D. L. (1985) will be useful to find a common understanding of preschool. Early childhood education is defined as “a programmatic effort in which an agent12, operating within a context13, uses some means14, according to some 11
Pianta, Robert C., and Carollee Howes. The Promise of Pre-K. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes, 2009. Print. Preface xix. 12 “The agents of change within early childhood education [...] include professionals (usually but not exclusively teachers), paraprofessionals, [...], parents, siblings, [and] peers [...]”xii. 13 “Each early childhood program is embedded in a physical, environmental, and historical context”xiii. 14 “Direct means include such things as variations in the reliance on verbal integration, the central importance of the educational
several policies about early educational programs will be suggested in order for the Ghanaian government to strive towards a more efficient scholastic system. plans15, to bring about changes in the behavior of children between birth and the age 8 [years] in terms of some definable criteria16”17. As this concept of early childhood education is extensively vague, it is inclined to embrace the notion of preschool. According to most Western nations, pre-school is defined as “sites where a variety of domains, interests, and social actors interact. Pre-K is where child rearing meets education; where the world of parents and home first meets the world of teachers and school”18. As the term kindergarten will be used in this study, it is important to understand this notion. Kindergarten is considered as one of the stages of pre-school. Thus, it is a “set of materials provided [...]” & “Indirect means include parent-education programs, community – development projects, health screening, nutritional supplements, and child-feeding programs”xiv. 15 “Included within plans are such things as sequences of learning, curriculum models, prescriptions for action, and intervention strategies”xv. 16 “What we hope to accomplish with early childhood education [...] reflects our values, hopes, and aspirations [...]”xvi. 17 Peters, Donald L., John T. Neisworth, and Thomas D. Yawkey. Early Childhood Education: From Theory to Practice. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub., 1985. Print. p1-6 18 Tobin, Joseph Jay., Yeh Hsueh, and Mayumi Karasawa. Preschool in Three Cultures Revisited: China, Japan, and the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2009. Print. 2
educational progress serving three – four years old children”19. Often, a component of age is included in these definitions. This constituent varies from definition to definition as it is based on the age at which the author considers that the developmental shift takes place during the early years of a child. This shift depends on the “cognitive system advances to new thought processes that enable symbolic representation”20 and on “the quality of the simulation provided during the early infancy”21. In the case of this paper, and with the help of the above definitions, preschool will be defined as: A formal institution managed by governments in which children from the age of one to six years are in proper conditions for the stimulation of their cognitive system through the discovery of objects, educational concepts, technologies and the establishment of new relationships with teachers and peers. The child’s experience of preschool will be influenced by his/her environmental and social conditions. After defining some important notions and grasp a common understanding of this study’s topic, this
paper will examine its impact on children in the First World. 2. Impacts of Pre-school in Western Nations In the past decades, scholars have tried to demonstrate the importance that pre-school plays in the maintenance of a nation’s values and principles. In order to do so, they studied the short- and longterm effects of pre-school on children from the First World. This paper will primarily discuss the findings of two major studies. The first study is the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project published in 1999. This longitudinal study followed 123 African American children in difficult social and environmental conditions for 27 years22. The second is also a longitudinal project published in 2000 called the Abecedarian Study. This project followed 111 children from varied backgrounds during 21 years23. Both of their findings can be categorized into two major frameworks: the educational framework and the social/behavioral framework. The Educational Framework One of the most important findings of these two studies is the increase that pre-school has on the Intelligence
Peters, Donald L., John T. Neisworth, and Thomas D. Yawkey. Early Childhood Education: From Theory to Practice. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Pub., 1985. Print. p7 20 Zigler, Edward, Walter S. Gilliam, and Stephanie M. Jones. A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006. Print. 2 21 Pre-school Education in the European Union: Current Thinking and Provision. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1995. Print. 10
Barnett, Steven W. Preschool Education and Its Lasting Effects: Research and Policy Implications. Rep. N.p.: National Institute for Early Education Research Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Sept 2008. Print. 9 “The Perry study followed 123 children from preschool well into adulthood”. 23 Ibid, 14 “This study [Abecedarian] followed 111 children from program entry through age 21 with a largely intact sample”.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' Quotient (IQ) of a child. Experts in early childhood education agree upon the fact that “the intelligence quotient at 6 years of age is a significant determining factor for future school performances”24. Indeed, four critical scientific findings on children’s brains have been discovered: “The brain development that takes place [...] in the first years of life is more rapid and extensive. Brain development is much more vulnerable to environmental externalities [...]. The influence of early environment on brain development is long lasting. The environment affects not only the number of brain cells and the number of connections among them, but also the way these connections are wired”25. Furthermore a recent study in Sweden shows that “the children who as one-yearolds attended child-care facilities [...] obtained better school results and had higher verbal and non-verbal skills at age 8. At age 13, the differences were still apparent”26. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project also shows that each year from ages 7 to 14, the children who attended pre-school had higher test scores than the ones who did not (an
Pre-school Education in the European Union: Current Thinking and Provision. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1995. Print. 13 25 Bushouse, Brenda K. Universal Preschool: Policy Change, Stability, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Albany, NY: SUNY, 2009. Print. 6-7 26 Pre-school Education in the European Union: Current Thinking and Provision. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1995. Print. p18.
average difference of 16 percent)27. The difference in average test scores is even more pronounced at the age of 14 years with 29 percent28. Finally, the Abecedarian Study correlates the results on reading and math achievements from a group of children who attended pre-school with children who did not. The “effects on reading and math achievement averaged about 0.40 standard deviations from ages 8 to 21, with only a very slight decrease in magnitude over time”29. Preschool also has an important effect on the children’s years of schooling. A French study found a “high correlation between whether a child attended preschool and whether the child repeated a later grade”30. The Abecedarian study indicates that pre-school consequently increases the ratio of students attending a 27
Wilson, John J. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project. Publication. N.p.: US. Department of Justice, 2000. Print. 3 “Test scores: Each year from ages 7 to 14, the mean achievement test scores of the program group were noticeably higher than those of the control group (an average difference of 16 percent). 28 Ibid, “The difference in the final achievement test scores of the two groups at age 14 was particularly significant: the program group’s scores were 29 percent higher than those of the control group”. 29 Barnett, Steven W. Preschool Education and Its Lasting Effects: Research and Policy Implications. Rep. N.p.: National Institute for Early Education Research Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Sept 2008. Print. 14 30 Hirsch, E. D., Jr. Equity Effects of Very Early Schooling in France. Rep. N.p.: Core Knowledge Foundation, n.d. Print. 1 “found a high correlation between whether a child attended preschool and whether the child repeated a later grade”.
four-years post-secondary education. Indeed, 35% of the children who benefited from an early educational program continued their studies until they obtained a university degree against 13% for children31 that did not attend pre-school32. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project shows that 71% of individuals that profited from an early educational program continued their studies in postsecondary education against 51% for nonpreschoolers33. Pre-school also meaningfully increases a child’s academic locus of control34. Julian Rother was one of the first psychologists to develop the notion of locus of control in 1954. Academic locus of control is the possibility for a child to feel able to control events that will impact
his academic achievements35. In the longterm, this concept is an important element to take into consideration, as it will determine the child’s future behavior towards education. Lastly, pre-school tends to increase the rate of employment36. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project that focuses primarily on the socioeconomical factors reveals that “significantly more [preschoolers] were employed (50 percent versus 32 percent) and self-supporting (45 percent versus 25 percent) [at age 19]” 37. According to that same study, other socioeconomical factors are affected by whether an individual went to pre-school or not. These factors are summarized in Table 3.
The sample of non – preschoolers used in the Abecedarian study is a well-defined group of children. These children’s environmental and social conditions have been controlled for. 32 Campbell, Frances A., and Craig T. Ramey. Carolina Abecedarian Project. Thesis. University of North Carolina & Georgetown University, n.d. N.p.: n.p., 2007. Print. 2 Graph number 4 in « Major Findings » & « Intervention children completed more years of education and were more likely to attend a fouryear college. 33
Wilson, John J. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project. Publication. N.p.: US. Department of Justice, 2000. Print. 3 “Graduation from high school. Seventy- one percent of the program group gradu- ated from high school, compared with 54 percent of the control group)” & Figure 1 (4th graph). 34 Pianta, Robert C., and Carollee Howes. The Promise of Pre-K. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes, 2009. Print. 82 Table 5.1.
Carlson, N.R., et al. (2007). Psychology: The Science of Behaviour - 4th Canadian ed.. Toronto, ON: Pearson Education Canada. 286 “Individuals with a high internal locus of control believe that events in their life derive primarily from their own actions”. 36 Bushouse, Brenda K. Universal Preschool: Policy Change, Stability, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Albany, NY: SUNY, 2009. Print. 8 « Evaluations were conducted at program completion and at ages eight, twelve, fifteen, and twenty-one, and findings show benefits to the treatment group in educational attainment, […] higher employment rates ». 37 Wilson, John J. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project. Publication. N.p.: US. Department of Justice, 2000. Print. 3
a. The Social/Behavioral Framework Early educational programs have important impacts on individuals’ social and behavioral framework. The most important effect concerns the relationships between the child, the mother, and the teacher. Indeed, several studies done in Western nations explain that pre-school has an important impact on a child’s academic and social achievements in the short-term. The long-term effects are due to a switch in the relationship between the child and the mother. Some research shows that “the short-term impact on aptitudes is enough to change the child’s aspirations and attitudes. This change has implications for the family, peers and teachers; it alters their perception of the child’s potential and this in turn leads to higher expectations of, and special support for the child”38. Psychologists explain that change by reference to two main characteristics of pre-school. The first concerns “the presence of group mates of similar age [that] may positively influence the development of social behavior and of speech in every individual”39. The second relates to a “regular contact between parents and personnel [that] may facilitate the transfer of important educational principles to families”40. All these positive influences concerning the child’s relationships are summarized in Graph 1.
Graph 1: Relationships Positively Affected by Pre-school Programs 38
Pre-school Education in the European Union: Current Thinking and Provision. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1995. Print. 22 39 Denenberg, Victor H., and Jerome S. Bruner. Education of the Infant and Young Child. New York: [Academic], 1970. Print. 54 40 Ibid
Pre-school also has a crucial impact on teen pregnancies and depressive symptoms. “The number of teenage pregnancies was almost twice as high for girls who had not attended pre-school education”43. Another study indicated that “88% of girls who had attended a pre-school center continued their studies after the birth of their child, as against 33% in the other group”44. The Abecedarian Study specifies that for non-preschoolers, the average age at which they have their first child is 17.5 years old, as opposed to 19 for preschoolers45. Table 4: Impacts of Early Educational Programs on Delinquency Activities Delinquency Activities Marijuana Use1 Police Arrests (+5)2 Number of Arrest Overall per Individual3 Number of Felony Arrests per Individual4 Number of Juvenile Court Petitions Filled per Individual5
Preschoolers 18% 7%
Non-preschoolers 39% 37%
Note: The data present in this table have been found in two different studies. 1 was found in the Abecedarian Study41. 2, 3, 4, and 5 were found in the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project42. Moreover, the level of delinquency for an individual that attended pre-school is significantly lower than for an individual who did not. This paper compiled studies of five different delinquent activities. The impacts of pre-school on these activities can be observed in Table 4. Furthermore, a correlation found in the Abecedarian Study shows that 39% of preschoolers smoke tobacco against 55% of non-preschoolers46.
Ibid, 24 « Marijuana use within the past 30 days was significantly less among the treated individuals. Eighteen percent cited some level of usage during that period, compared to 39% of controls ». 42 Wilson, John J. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project. Publication. N.p.: US. Department of Justice, 2000. Print. 3 Figure Number 1. 43 Wilson, John J. The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project. Publication. N.p.: US. Department of Justice, 2000. Print. 5 44 Pre-school Education in the European Union: Current Thinking and Provision. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1995. Print. 24 45 Campbell, Frances A., and Craig T. Ramey. Carolina Abecedarian Project. Thesis. University of North Carolina & Georgetown University, n.d. N.p.: n.p., 2007. Print. 2 Graph number 2 in « Major Findings » & « Treated individuals were older, on average, when their first child was born ». 46 Ibid, 24 « Of more importance, a tendency existed for those with preschool treatment to be less lik
Examining the Abecedarian Study, the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, and several other European studies, it seems apparent that early educational programs have both shortand long-term impacts on children’s academic and social attitudes in the First World. As a result, literature focusing on the impacts of such programs in developing countries deserves more attention. The second part of this paper will explain the conceptual framework of the study done in Ghana. II. Conceptual Framework of the findings of this study, as the fees48 the Study cannot be paid by all families in the As this study was conducted over community. Thus, this study focuses two months, it will not be considered as a particularly on the wealthier families in longitudinal study and thus will not have Agbozume-Klikor. During the 2011the same exactitude and legitimacy as 2012 school year, El-Shaddai pre-school other studies conducted over an extended received 200 children between the ages period of time.47 of one and seven years. The ratio of The study was conducted in a small students per teacher was 33:1, which is community called Agbozume-Klikor, relatively high according to Western situated South-East Ghana. El-Shaddai ratios49. Furthermore, teachers at ElInternational School Complex is composed Shaddai are young women (21 years old of two school compounds: the pre-school on average) who recently obtained their and the upper primary school/junior high High School diplomas. No special training school. The first compound has six grades is necessary in order to teach pre-school while the second has eight. Since the students in Ghana. El-Shaddai is striving standard starting age in the Ghanaian toward a one teacher per class policy. educational system is two years old, the Teachers work with the same class all year average age at which pre-school ends is in order to follow students’ learning six years old. However, because the social, progress. Moreover, teachers’ education environmental, and economical conditions methods are questionable. Students may are not always optimal for children to start spend their days repeating words without pre-school at the age of two, some finish knowing their meanings. Short-term pre-school at age seven or eight effects of such methods may be El-Shaddai is the only private significant, but long-term impacts will only school in the community of Agbozumebe superficial. Klikor. This has an important impact on This study’s findings are based on students of El-Shaddai primary school and 48 47
The exchange rate has been calculated on November 17, 2012 via http://coinmill.com (Exchange rate at this time is GHS 1 = USD 0.53).
The average fees for a year (three semesters) are G¢ 93 (equivalent to US$ 50)xliii. 49 Sacks, Lynne, and Betsy Brown Ruzzi. Arly Childhood Education: Lessons from the States and Abroad: 2005. Rep. N.p.: National Center .
junior high school. A survey of 18 questions was distributed to 143 individuals during a normal day of class. Students had one hour to answer questions that focused primarily on their environmental and social backgrounds. This survey was not a cognitive test. Although these questions gave an idea of the students’ family conditions, it is hard to take into account the entire spectrum of variables that could interfere with the impact of pre-school on a child’s academic and social achievements. For example, some of the variables not tested were the presence of electricity, income, or hygiene of the children’s households. The second step taken in order to complete this study consisted of gathering the children’s grades from the school’s official grade book. While 143 students filled out the survey only 104 had available transcripts. The study will thus focus on these 104 students. For each class (nine classes per semester on average50), El-Shaddai’s teachers must record, the child’s performances following specific notations established through cooperation between ElShaddai International schools and Ghana’s Ministry of Education51: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Pass, Weak, or Fail. In the case of this study, only the third trimester of the year 2011 and the first and second trimester of the year 2012 has been recorded. Because the grades were collected before the end of the third 50
Nine classes is the official number of classes per semester. However, because teachers are often absent, one class might be canceled for the current semester and resume the next.
trimester of the year 2012, it was not possible to get students’ latest grades. For the purpose of this study, and in order to obtain a useful grade average, each notation has been assigned to a specific coefficient. Because of the minimal percentage of students failing a class, this study emphasizes on the notation ‘Fail’ by assigning a coefficient of -1. Whenever possible, the sum of the three trimesters is used in order to calculate the average grade of the year. Sometimes, as some data were missing only the sum of two trimesters is used. This study is using the sum of a child’s trimestral grades because all students had an equal number of classes per trimesters. The child’s average used in this study has been calculated with the following formula:
In order to fully observe the impact of pre-school on the educational and social development of Ghanaian children, it is important to control for all environmental variables possible. If not controlled, these variables might alter the correlation between the average grade of a child and his/her attendance of an early educational program. In this study, malaria, number of siblings, gender, profession of the father, and profession of the mother have been recognized as being environmental variables that might affect the correlation under consideration. Table 7 shows the mean of the different variables applied on the group studied. . For more complete information on the sample studied see the table at the end of the docuemnt. Table 7: Mean of Environmental Variables of the Group Studied Variables Pre-school Malaria Gender Siblings Beating Boyfriend/Girlfriend Profession Father Profession Mother
Mean 0.734 0.531 0.566 5.048 0.755 0.244 1.569 1.231
Note: The sample studied is composed of 104 individuals. Means of Pre-school, Malaria, Gender, Beating, and Boyfriend/Girlfriend are inferior to 0 because they are discrete variables taking 0 if the individual is not exposed to the variable and 1 if the individual is exposed to it. The value of Profession Father and Profession Mother depends on the worker skills of a child’s parents (1 if low, 2 if medium, and 3 if high). Finally, the Siblings variable takes the value corresponding to the number of children’s brothers and sisters.
As said before, it is crucial to control for these variables as they might change the correlation between a child’s average grade and his/her pre-school’s attendance. This can be done through a linear regression. The linear regression applied in this paper will take into Formula 1 Grade = β0 + β1Pre-schooli + β2Malariai + β3Siblingsi + β4Genderi + β5Profession Fatheri + β6 Profession Motheri + µi The variables Pre-school and Malaria are discrete taking the value 0 if the subject is not exposed to it and taking the value of 1 if the individual is exposed to it. In the case of pre-school, this means that the value of the variable will be 1 if the student went to pre-school and 0 if he/she did not. For the variable Gender, its value will be 0 if the individual is female and 1 if male. Profession Father and Profession Mother are more complicated variables. Indeed, their values fluctuate between 1, 2, and 3. A value of one is given if either the father or the mother is a low-skilled worker (farmer, seller...). A value of two is attributed in the case of a middle-skilled father or mother (secretariat, policeman...). Finally, a value of three is given if the father and/or the mother is a high-skilled worker (teacher,
consideration the average total grade or the sum of trimesters grade (regressand), the pre-school’s attendance (main regressor) and other presented variable (regressor). Thus, the formula of this regression is: position in the government, king of the community...). These two variables are based on the current profession of the father and of the mother. Children with dead parents are not taken into consideration52. In the case of this study, these variables are used to deduct other variables that the survey was not able to cover. Thus, they are considered as crude proxy for the wealth, the income, and the level of education of a child’s parents. Finally, the constant term, µ, represents a child’s average/sum grade if all the other variables were equal to 0. After focusing on the conceptual framework of this study and on the data gathered in El-Shaddai International upper primary school and junior high school, the third part of this paper will concentrate on the empirical analysis of these data. Empirical Analysis 52
19 students in the sample studied have either both or one of their parent dead.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' In the case of this research paper, several regressions have been made in order to give the reader a full understanding of the impacts of preschool on Ghanaian children. The first linear regression is based on Formula 1. Thus, six variables have been taken into consideration: Pre-school, Malaria, Gender, Siblings, Profession Father, and Profession Mother. The results are shown in Table 8. Important results can be seen in this table. First, when all variables are controlled for, the impact of pre-school becomes important on an individual’s average grades. Indeed, coefficients being positive and statistically significantly different from 0 for Grades T1 (2012), Grades T2 (2012), and Total Grades (year 2011/12) mean that preschool does have a strong effect on a child’s academic achievements. Preschool influences students’ total grades by 13.4%53. Three factors can explain the negative correlation between Grade T3 and Pre-school. First, this hypothesis can be tested at the 5% significance level by comparing the value of the t-statistic to +/1.96, the critical value for a two-sided test. In this case, the t-statistic equals to -0.40, which is significantly below the critical value of a two-sided test. Thus, the null hypothesis is rejected at the 5% significance level. Second, the number of individuals observed is 86, which is relatively low compared to the other
trimesters and therefore, could amplify measurement errors. Third, R2 Grade T3 is significantly smaller than R2 Grade T1 and R2 Grade T2. R2 can be interpreted as the extent to which the independent variables can predict the dependent variable. In this case, R2 Grade T3 is close to 0 which means that the explanatory power of (all) the independent variables in the model is close to null. Furthermore, it seems interesting to observe the correlations of other variables even though they are rejected at the 5% significance level. Thus, Malaria and Siblings have a negative impact and Profession Mother and Gender have a positive impact on students’ grades. Profession Father is a surprising case, as the reader would expect this coefficient to be positive. Because 20 children included in that survey do not benefit from a stable familial environment54, it seems understandable that this coefficient does not properly represent the reality of the situation. This negative correlation can also be explained by the fact that fathers do not spend a considerable amount of time with their children. Indeed, in Ghanaian culture, it is the role of the mother to take care of the children while the father provides financial support to the household. In order to fully understand the implications of the results found in the first regression, a counter factual analysis based on two students of El-Shaddai International junior high school will be
This percentage of influence has been !"#$!!"#!!"!!!"!×!!"" calculated as followed: = !.!!×!!"" !".!"
The 20 children’s parents are still alive but do not have the sufficient resources to take care of their children properly. Thus, these children live in the Friends’ Foundation Orphanage.
instructive. Melody and Erica are two girls sharing the following characteristics: malaria, 5 siblings, low-skilled father, and low-skilled mother. Melody went to preschool for 3 years while Erica is a nonpreschooler. Using Formula 1, it is possible to compute the two girls’ Expected Average Grade (EAG) and then compare it to their Real Average Grade (RAG). Formula 2 Grade = β0 + β1Years Pre-schooli + β2Malariai + β3Siblingsi + β4Genderi + β5Profession Fatheri + β6 Profession Motheri + µi !"#$%! ! !!!"# = !24.68 + 3.30×1 − 0.71×1 − 0.11×5 − 0.74×1 + 0.55×1 − 0.35×0 = 26,38 ! !"#$! !!!"# = !24.68 + 3.30×0 − 0.71×1 − 0.14×5 − 0.74×1 + 0.55×1 − 0.35×0 = 23.08 Melody’s RAG is 26,3. The difference between Melody’s EAG and her RAG is 0,08. Erica’s RAG is 23,5. The difference between Erica’s EAG and her RAG is 0,42. Two conclusions are to be extracted from these computations. First, the regression’s formula seems accurate as the difference between the students’ EAG and RAG is very low. Second, if two individuals share the same characteristics except for the variable Pre-school, it is possible to observe the difference between their respective average grades. Therefore, preschool does affect a child’s educational success.
Children’s environmental and familial conditions influence their opportunity to attend pre-school. This can be seen through a covariance matrix that takes into account the variables studied [See Table 9]. A negative correlation between a variable and Pre-school in the matrix means that a child has fewer opportunities to attend an early childhood educational program and will probably stay home. Thus, a child’s sickness (malaria) or a high number of siblings has a negative effect on pre-school. Nevertheless, because the coefficients of the variables Profession Father and Profession Mother are positive when compared to the variable Pre-school, it makes sense to conclude that the higher the working skills of a child’s parents, the higher the chance he/she will attend preschool. Finally, as is the case in almost every developing country, a boy will have more opportunities to attend pre-school than a girl55 The findings so far show that early childhood educational programs increase students’ average grades. In the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project it is possible to see a positive relationship between a child’s years spent in preschool and his/her academic achievements. In the case of this study, a variable needs be changed from Formula 1 in order to observe the presence of this correlation. The variable Pre-school is changed to a new variable called Years Pre-school. The new formula is:
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' Years Pre-school will take a value corresponding to the number of years a child spends in an early educational institution. The results found through Formula 2 are reported in Table 10. The main finding is a positive correlation between the years children spent in preschool and their academic achievements. However, it is important to observe that the null hypothesis is rejected at 5% and 10% significance level. In other words, the coefficient of Years Pre-school is not significantly different from zero. Changing Years Pre-school to Years Primary school will indicate the nature of the relationship between a students’ educational successes and his/her attendance at a primary educational institution. The formula obtained is: Formula 3
Grade = β0 + β1Years Primary schooli + β2Malariai + β3Siblingsi + β4Genderi + β5Profession Fatheri + β6 Profession Motheri + µ The variable Years Primary school takes a value corresponding to the number of years a student spends in a primary school institution. The results found through Formula 3 are reported in Table 11. The coefficient of the variable Years Primary school is 0.152. It means that the influence of the years spent by a student in primary school will not influence his/her accomplishments in school in a crucial way. The null hypothesis is rejected at 5% and 10% significance level, meaning that the coefficient studied is not significantly different from zero.
Table 10: Educational Improvements (Grades) of Children due to Environmental and Educational Conditions (Years Pre School)
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' Because the coefficient of Years Pre-school is higher than the coefficient of Years Primary school when compared to Total Grades (year 2011/2012), a student will have greater benefits from attending pre-school than primary school. Thus, the impacts of an early educational program are noticeably more important than a primary educational program. This finding can be observed in Graph 2. While the total years of schooling positively influences a student’s grades, this relationship is supported by the impact of pre-school and not by the impact of primary school. Indeed, it is possible to see that the more years a child attend preschool, the higher his/her grades will be which is contrary to primary school. After analyzing the data gathered in El-shaddai primary and junior high school and finding some interesting correlations, the reader needs to keep in mind the importance measurement errors can have on the study’s findings. III. Major Findings, Measurement Errors, and Policy Reform: Four main findings can be deduced from the data gathered in Ghana. The first concerns the positive influence that early childhood educational programs have on a student’s academic successes. While in the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project the percentage of difference between a preschooler’s and a non-preschooler’s average grade is 16%i, the study
conducted in Ghana shows that there is a difference of 13.22%ii. Put into perspective, this difference may change a child’s educational path and thus determine his/her future job, and level of income. The second finding shows that mothers have an important influence on their children’s educational accomplishments. Western scholars have shown the importance of this relationshipiii. In the case of the study conducted in Ghana, the profession of the mother will influence a child’s attendance at pre-school and his/her achievements. The third major finding concerns the students’ environmental and familial conditions and their impact on whether children will attend pre-school or not and on how well they will perform in primary school. Malaria and number of siblings will negatively influence their achievements. Like almost every developing country, gender inequality plays a crucial role in children’s educationiv. Thus, this study shows that a boy will have more chance to go to pre-school and get good grades in primary school than a girl. Last but not least, this study considers the crucial influence that early educational programs have on students’ future achievements compared to primary education. Again, this correlation can be seen in scholars’ work throughout their studies in the repetition of gradesv, delinquent activitiesvi, and social behaviorsvii of students. All of these findings have been summarized in Figure 2.
Graph 2: Effects of Different Level of Educational on Average Grade
Average Grade year 2011/2012
Effect of Pre-Schooling Years on Average Grade 27
26 25 24 23
22 21 20 0
Years spent in Pre-School
Average Grade year 2011/2012
Effects of Primary Schooling Years on Average Grade 26 25.8 25.6 25.4 25.2 25 24.8 66 24.6 24.4 24.2
25.8 25.3 24.8
Years spent in Primary School
Average Grade year 2011/2012
Impact of Total Years of Schooling on Average Grade 25.8
24.8 24.6 24.4 4-8
9 - 11
12 - 16
Number of Years attending School (Pre-school + Primary School)
Conclusions While it is possible to deduce four main findings from the data gathered, it is also important to keep in mind that the measurement error of this study might be significant. Indeed, the children’s grades taken from the official grade book of the school have been calculated in a way that makes failing a grade almost impossible. 40% of student’s total grades are based on their participation in class. Final examination grades make up the 60% left to complete their total grades. In order to fail a class at El-shaddai International schools, a student needs to have a totlal grade of less than 40%. When the teachers give at least a 35% participation grade to all students, it is difficult for them to fail classes. Furthermore, El-Shaddai International schools are private, which means only the students from the upper families of the community attend this school and pay the fees. However, because the factors considered apply to all students, their average grades are still homogeneous and it is possible to run regressions and find correlations between them. This study is based on a sample of 104 observations, which is quite small compare to other studies conducted in European countriesviii. This factor might increase the error of measurement, as the group studied does not represent the full spectrum of students in Ghana. The absence of a control group for important variables could also influence the
correlations found. Some of the variables not controlled for are for example, income of the family, wealth of the household56, presence of water and electricity in students’ home, as well as, nationalities of children57. Lastly, the verifiability of the survey cannot be certified as no documentation was requested while students were completing their questionnaires. From these findings, essential policy reforms can be suggested in order to create a more efficient educational system in Ghana. First, reforming the teaching methods and the training of preschool teachers seems crucial. Indeed, a system based on the repetition of words will have only short-term effect on students’ educational achievements. In order to increase children’s cognitive skills during the early years of their childhood, the Ghanaian early educational system should encourage teachers to stimulate students’ ability to analyze, reflect, learn, and discover. As long-term effects become more perceptible, the developmental shift described in section one of this paper as well as the academic locus of control characterized by Julian Rother will develop more rapidly.
Wealth of the household is composed of income of the family and any other financial resources such as inheritance. 57 In the case of this paper, it might have been important to take into account student’s nationalities in order to know their maternal language. Some students’ maternal language was French.
Pre-school is crucial to a child’s future successes. That is why the Ghanaian government should allocate more money to these programs. These new funds will be used to hire more teachers and reduce the very high student teacher ratio found in Ghana. Several studies proved that a low student-teacher ratio would allow better assimilation of the concepts taught in pre-school. Government help will also allow pre-school institutions to be more accessible. Creation of transportation networks would permit children from remote communities to benefit from an early educational program. As almost all early educational institutions in Ghana charge fees, it might be interesting to allocate some funds to these institutions in order to make them more accessible to lower-income students. I.
Conclusion Within the study of International Development, early childhood educational programs are an increasingly researched topic. While pre-school only concerns the education of children from the ages of one to six years, its effects are truly remarkable. Whether in Western scholars’ work or in the case of this study, the impacts of pre-school concern every aspect of children’s lives. Indeed, preschool changes a child’s behaviors as well
as his/her scholastic achievements in the short- and long-term. This paper follows this line of thought, and through an examination of Ghanaian early educational programs, it finds that a child’s future will be greatly influenced by whether or not he/she attended pre-school. The case study of ElShaddai International schools corroborates scholars’ major findings. Indeed, through an observation of 104 individuals, it has been found that preschool education increases student’s average grade in primary school. Preschool positively influences the developing relationship between a child and his/her mother. Finally, pre-school has a greater impact on children’s educational accomplishments than primary school. However, as noted earlier, it is important to keep in mind that the major findings of this study might have important measurement errors. The system of grade distribution within El-Shaddai International schools is rudimentary and it is almost impossible for students to fail classes. Important variables that could influence the correlations found have not been controlled for. Furthermore, only 104 individuals compose the sample studied and their answers to the survey might not have been accurate, as no monitoring processes were put in place.
Grassroots' Vol.'1'Ed.'1' This study suggested the Ghanaian government financially invest in educational programs in order to lead the country in a new era of development. It is only recently that pre-school has been considered as a real development tool by Western nations and more generally by the international community. It is becoming widely known that pre-school
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can have an important return on investment for governments that decide to put effective early childhood educational programs in placeix. Ghana as part of the Third World should take a particular interest in the benefits of pre-school programs and become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve widespread development.
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