I chose West and Central Africa, because based on what I have heard in the news about mortality rates, especially mothers and infants, and lack of education, I wanted to further my knowledge about how this affects young children directly. The main challenge that young children face in this region, mostly pertains to young girls who are married off as children. They are married off to men who can support their basic needs (unicef.org). This is harmful because child brides are less likely to finish school, more likely to be victims of violence, as well as become infected with HIV. Also, these children are more likely to have still born or low birth weight children, or children who die shortly after birth. These are all situations that are detrimental to a young child’s emotional development.
This website offered many stories and articles in regards to challenges young children face in different regions. I found a media segment when reviewing this region that was about a young girl who was married off at the age of 13, and was basically abandoned by her family. She struggled with the marriage, stating that she could not look at this man who was supposed to be her husband. She is currently fighting in court for a divorce. This was heartbreaking to me, because she said she was trying to stay in school, despite her situation and challenges. She mentioned that she gets good grades in school and wants to be a doctor and all of this could be taken away from her if she is not granted the divorce. It helped me to realize that as an educator, I have to advocate for children everywhere! That is my responsibility; children all over the world need my support.