Brikids Barcelona - United States - Save the Children
School should be a safe place for everyone. Yet thousands of children are subjected to bullying and other abuse daily. Children who are bullied suffer. Abuse opens wounds and destroys self-esteem. It can leave scars for life.
But even the bullies often suffer. Bullying has complex causes and arises often from a situation of insecurity, when there is a bad attitude in the class or at school. Experience shows that efforts to address the problem that focus too much on the individual have only short-term effects and may even make the problem worse for the person being bullied.
That is why it is important to work for a healthier environment in general in which all students and adults feel they participate. If there are clear rules and values that everyone agrees on, it is also easier for everyone to react when something goes wrong.
Illiteracy is not common in United States, but for the small group of people who cannot read and write, it is a pressing problem. Knowing the language is central to participation in a democratic society and being able to make oneself heard. It is a prerequisite for higher education and an absolute necessity in daily life.
Language is also a determining factor in the intellectual development of the human being. Children who cannot read and write are discriminated against and end up on the outskirts of society. It is a handicap that leads to many other forms of vulnerability. Save the Children fights illiteracy worldwide and works to get all children in school.
Corporal punishment allowed
Save the Children has been working for many years to outlaw corporal punishment throughout the world. We were involved in the campaign in the 1970s that lead to Sweden being the first country in the world to completely outlaw corporal punishment in 1979. Several countries followed suit, but in as many as 170 countries, it is still legal to punish and rear children using physical and psychological violence.
In our work against corporal punishment, we often meet fierce resistance. The freedom of adults to discipline children is often given priority over the right of children to not be beat. In addition to common sense, there are mountains of studies that unanimously reveal the absurdity in the argument that violence does children any good. Quite to the contrary, children who are violated at home and in school lose their self-confidence and trust in others because they have been betrayed by the ones they should have been able to trust most of all.
Many children do not learn any other way to solve conflicts than by using violence. This means that children who grow up with corporal punishment run the risk of repeating the same pattern when they become parents.
What we do worldwide against corporal punishment:
• Change the attitudes toward children and discipline among parents, teachers, and all adults.
• Put demands on global authorities to act against violence toward children.
• Spread knowledge about positive reinforcement as an alternative to violence.
Over 23 million children and young adults are overweight in the United States. In more than half of the states, every third child suffers. Overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions. Many believe that being overweight is a problem of luxury, but in fact the opposite is the case.
Mainly poor and low-educated people are affected. Without the money, understanding, or space in which to move around, children suffer from malnutrition and immobility. Overweight leads to a series of health problems and illness, such as diabetes. It is especially problematic because the groups that suffer often have minimal health insurance and receive poorer care. Food that is low in nutrition and high in sugar also ruins children’s teeth along with their abilities to concentrate and learn. Overweight and obesity are accelerating threats to health. Save the Children works to turn back this trend.
• Provide schools with education and equipment so that children are given the opportunity to eat better and exercise more.
• Lobby to call attention to the issue and get decision-makers to act.