Comprehensive Childhood Development

 

If we want to create a world of peace, justice, and loving kindness, we must focus our efforts on children as the core of humanity and the most important members of society.

Our Philosophy:

More specifically, we adults must change the way we see and interact with children. 

We must see children as social protagonists, as competent members of society with dignity and rights. We must interact with them in ways that respect their competence and that foster their self-agency.

 

In essence, we must work with this generation's children to prevent the next generation's problems (e.g. violence, sexual violence, addiction, indifference to the suffering of others, ill health, etc.)

The Problem:

Our societies currently trample the dignity of children since the day they were born, denying their

rights and systematically breaking their wills through neglect, various forms of violence, intrusive and controlling behaviors, and other forms of mistreatment. Most mistreatment and violence against children occurs in families and schools, places where children spend almost all of their time, and it presents the greatest public health risk the world faces today. Psycho-social research from around the world has shown that adverse experiences suffered during childhood in large part determine social, psychological, and physical health problems during adulthood.

Our Solution:

To address these severe problems, we take a multifaceted approach to

comprehensive childhood development. We aim to work with children, families, educators, local and national governments, inter-governmental agencies, and international human rights agencies, such as the United Nations and the Organization of American States. We believe that, by working with the individual and expanding to the level of international advocacy, we can change social structures and cultural patterns.

Our Activities:

Our comprehensive childhood development activities include:

 

1) Technical and Financial Support:

A Breeze of Hope currently works with parents, schools, and others who are in direct and constant contact with children. We provide consultation services, workshops, and training on practical skills and information that can help parents, educators, and others who work with children to form safe and nurturing environments that foster healthy childhood development. Our workshops cover the following topics:

 

  • 12 strategies for comprehensive early childhood development
  • Pre-natal preparation for parents and protection of the child
  • Physical and neurological development of the child
  • The infant's need for emotional bonding, interaction, and communication

  • The importance of parents in the child's life and the importance of the child in the parents' lives
  • Healthy conflict resolution for the family
  • Pikler method of early infancy development

 

 

We also offer consultation services through which we share best practices from around the world. Our consultation services cover the following areas:

 

  • Transformational education in impoverished communities

  • Construction of safe school environments (i.e. child friendly infrastructure that promotes respect for children's rights)

  • Child centered teaching and assessment methodologies that foster a love for learning

  • The importance of involving parents in childhood education: emotional bonding and learning

  • Creating a culture that prioritizes providing children with a healthy start

  • Physical and neurological development of the child

 

 

If you are interested in any of these workshops or consultation services, please contact us at parkerpalmer@abreezeofhope.org.

 

2) Systemic Advocacy for Children's Rights:

In our systemic advocacy approach, we lobby before local and national government authorities to influence public policy and law. Systemic advocacy plays a crucial role in creating a new culture of respect for children's rights and developmental process.

 

3) Research and Publications:

We also engage in extensive research on childhood development and education and publish our work. Our research includes comparative analysis of government programs, policies, and laws regarding Comprehensive Childhood Development, as well as much more.

Programs:

Comunidad Educativa Para La Vida (CEV). CEV is a school located in Chilimarca, Bolivia

that serves over 250 children from young infancy to 6th grade who live in impoverished conditions. At CEV, children experience safe, nurturing environments, where they can engage in resiliency processes and learn the skills they need to transform their families and communities with love, peace, and respect for human rights. The children also receive two full meals per day and free psychological and medical services.

 

CEV has established a school culture of non-violence in a country where violence is regularly used as a form of discipline in the educational setting. This non-violent culture has influenced local government, and now CEV

 

 

serves as a model for other schools in its district. CEV's commitment to the protection of human rights and comprehensive childhood development translates into innovative, student-centered cooperative learning strategies. These strategies focus on the development of self-agency, literacy and life skills, and active and responsible citizenship. CEV also believes in a healthy start to life, and thus works with parents to establish sensitive parenting styles and family cultures of non-violence. CEV helps parents to form strong and healthy emotional bonds with their infants and to develop the skills they need to provide their children with quality early education.

 

CEV has achieved high levels of parental involvement in the development of children's curricular activities and in the education process. CEV provides an alternative to mainstream education and uses methodologies that focus on the student's interest. CEV believes that children learn best when they are in safe, non-violent environments with space to play, express their emotions, and be creative. The foundation of CEV's educational methodology is the five health determinants for brain development: physical nutrition, socio-emotional nutrition, cognitive nutrition, self-agency, and safe and enriching environments.

Comunidad de los Tiernos (Community of tenderness):

Another very important component of the work at CEV

Comunidad de los Tiernos seeks to create a new culture of parenting and institutional care for children from impoverished communities, with special emphasis on the first 1000 days of life. The program's curriculum and methodology are heavily influenced by Hungarian Pediatrician Emmi Pikler's philosophy of childhood development.

Ways to Get Involved

 

You may donate $10 per month, providing a child with school supplies, $35 per month, providing a child with education, or $600 per month, covering the cost of a whole classroom. This donation covers the salary of a teacher in CEV, education to 15-20 children, nutritious meals for the children, and free primary medical services for the children.

Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering or doing an internship or externship in the US or in Bolivia, please email us at parkerpalmer@abreezeofhope.org. We need volunteers for grant writing, resource development, production of promotional materials, assisting at CEV, and more. Volunteer today!​

Supplies

We need supplies: classroom supplies (e.g. crayons, construction paper, play dough, pencils, stickers, etc.), educational toys (e.g. building blocks, wood puzzles, etc), Spanish books, interlocking floor foam, band instruments (bass drums, snare drums, symbols, etc.), and newborn baby clothes.

Research and Publication:

There are ample of opportunities to do research.

If interested, please email parkerpalmer@abreezeofhope.org

Socio-emotional Nutrition

 

 

includes facilitating parents' development of the skills they need to establish and maintain secure attachment and bonding with their children, fostering non-violent communication patterns and healthy conflict resolution skills, providing children with many opportunities for reflection with classmates, peers, educators, and parents, and much more.

 

 

includes learning literacy skills, acquiring the ability to think mathematically since a very young age, and developing logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. Our approach to cognitive nutrition (i.e. learning) is based on the philosophies and best practices of various schools of thought, including those of Emmi Pikler, Glenn Doman, Maria Montessori, Problem Based Learning, and Community Based Learning. A fundamental principle of CEV's approach is that the “locus of control and initiative” must be within the child, not within the teacher or parent.

 

A child's sense that he or she controls the learning process helps the child to “learn to learn,” which is far more important than the amount of information the child has in his or her brain. When a child owns his or her cognitive processes (i.e. generates and resolves his or her own epistemological doubts and dissonances), there is no quenching that child's thirst for knowledge and learning.

Cognitive Nutrition

Self Agency

 

 

is crucial for success and happiness in life. Thus, CEV places a premium on developing a solid foundation of self-agency during the first two years of life through the usage of Hungarian Pediatrician Emmi Pikler's motricity development methodology. Pikler's approach encourages children to acquire body positions and motor skills through autonomous, self-initiated movements without adult intervention. Infants that learn to move in this free environment develop a strong capacity for self-regulation and self-agency that is crucial for success in school and later in life.

 

 

are absolutely crucial for healthy childhood development. A safe environment has three broad dimensions: [1] physical safety (child/infant friendly physical structures, safe furniture, etc.), [2] biochemical safety (clean water, vaccines, non-toxic floors and construction materials, etc.), and [3] social safety (e.g. children are not exposed to violent people or--even worse--sexual predators, which tend to gravitate to schools and other institutions with children).

Safe & Enriching Environments

Physical Nutrition

 

 

 

includes food security, a properly balanced diet, family gardens, education for children and parents on nutrition, etc. Proper physical nutrition is a crucial component of robust brain development, but to be successful good physical nutrition must be integrated with the other nutritional aspects mentioned below.​

A Breeze of Hope

Foundation

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Rape Abuse and Incest Network at                                   . You are not alone.​

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Rape Abuse and Incest Network at                                     . You are not alone.​