Slumdog Millionaire, City of God...you could make a box office hit from the lives of kids in Kibera, the biggest slum in sub Saharan Africa. Even before they go to school here, children must run the gauntlet of Kibera's crazy and even violent street life.
Scientists warn that stress can raise levels of the hormone cortisol, permanently altering the architecture of young brains. But while stress can be a problem, so can too little stimulation - as scientists discover how important interaction is for childhood development. Experts disagree how critical the first five years are and whether more funding should be diverted to early childhood development. But many of those who set the agenda for global development now regard early childhood as a key priority.
The adults of Kibera are working hard to offer kids a safe and stimulating haven in pre-schools. Pre-school is a safe space for the kids, somewhere they can develop peacefully and-in theory-become less violent adults. But many parents can't afford the ten dollars a month in fees.
For parents and teachers of children like Nasuru, Brian and Patience in this episode of Early Life, pre-school also brings dilemmas. Should it reflect traditional African social values, or the West's more individualistic outlook?
The other titles in the series are:
1. The Mayor's Dream - The Mayor's dream is simple: a better world because every child gets a better start.
3. My First Day at School - Three children prepare to enter primary school in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2009
Copyright Date: 2009
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-910-0
"This important series translates our growing understanding of the vital role of early experience in laying the foundation for life-long learning for children growing up in poor communities around the world. It shows how despite poverty, we can combat the effects of deprivation on development and help young children thrive by promoting cost effective and humane early stimulation, attachment, and learning experiences. In this time of increasing globalization, these films bring students of child development and early education into the global community by expanding their vision of the power of child development in promoting the wellbeing of all children. An invaluable resource for programs that aim to integrate an appreciation of cultural diversity and economic and social justice into their courses."
Dr. Diane E. Levin, Professor of Education,
Wheelock College, Author, Teaching Young Children in Violent Times
"The Mayor's Dream and Kibera Kids films use an exciting clarity and grace to convey the complex and often disquieting message regarding the overwhelming significance of the early years in preparing humans for their best chance at a productive and meaningful lives. The mixed chorus of young and old voices, experts and community leaders, and the lucky and the vulnerable is highly educational and persuasive. I look forward to using them to do just that; to teach and to persuade."
Kyle Pruett, M.D. Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry and Nursing, Yale School of Medicine, author of Fatherneed and Partnership Parenting
"The film asks the imponderable question, Is this push for early child development an imposition of Western expectations, or does it prepare children for the kind of modern future that parents themselves want? No doubt the answer is a little of both. But at least the film has slum-dwellers and development planners--and, as a result of watching it, hopefully teachers and students--asking the question. Will today's Kibera kids be tomorrow's Kibera adults, having Kibera kids of their own?...Suitable for some mature high school classes and for college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of development, anthropology of education, anthropology of childhood, and African studies, as well as general audiences."
Jack David Eller, Community College of Denver, Anthropology Review Database
"Appropriate for discussions of the social and emotional development of young children through pre-school activities, stimulation, and communi