Thursday, August 09, 2007

Worlds apart

Copyright Eden Foundation

In May this year, I came across a Swedish article that dealt with the findings of a recent report about which country was considered the best for mothers to raise their children in. The report based its findings on issues such as health care standards, female life expectancy, education, financial inequality between the sexes, parental insurance, female involvement in politics, child mortality rate and many things more. Sweden came out at the very top and Niger at the very bottom, which was reason enough for me to blog about it, seeing I am connected with both.

The findings did not take into account however that in Sweden, toddlers are being left at daycare centers for longer shifts than ordinary work hours, because their parents need to work more, in order to gain more. When I worked as a teacher in Sweden, it really saddened me that there were so many broken families. Far too often, parents had far too little time to spend with their children, who felt unloved and acted accordingly. It didn't help that the parents tried to "buy their love" with material things, when all they wanted was for their parents to spend some time with them.

So who are the lucky ones, really? The ones who are surrounded by material wealth but have no time with their parents, or the ones who are included in society from the very start, but have few comforts to enjoy?

You see, to me, the challenge about helping is to bring about sustainable development without trampling what is already there. And believe me, Africa has many treasures.

Ishtar

9 comments:

Izz said...

I treasure most the times that I spend with my kids than the time I spend trying to raise my economic status. There's more natural value in the latter than the former. So I'd say with a little of betterment of life in Niger for the Niger women and their children, basic provisions wise, Niger is better.

Ugo Daniels said...

I wonder what parameters or criteria they used in arriving to that conclusion.

Ishtar said...

The report was the work of Save the Children, but apart from what I mentioned in the post, I have no idea what parameters they used. I only conclude that the amount of time available for the mother to spend with her child was not taken into consideration.

photogchic said...

Maybe since it was a Swedish article, it was a bit biased. You are right, amount of time spent with children is an important parameter. My mom didn't work until I was about 5. We never had a lot of money, but my childhood is filed with memories of walks, gardening, and exploring the woods with my mom. Those memories are invaluable to me. I can't imagine life in daycare.

Izz said...

Greetings from the izzyone.

childwoman said...

Life is so unfair :(

Beaman said...

It's definitely far more important that a child gets love and attention over material things. Loneliness in later life because of being left so often by the parents when young, affects so many people these days.

azuka said...

I can identify with this.

Time was, when my family went through a lot of hardship -- but that was when I saw my parents the most. I can't remember being happier than then.

pamelastitch said...

it is an issue of standards.

Pammy :-(