What is child development?
The term ‘child development’ refers to the biological, psychological and emotional changes a child experiences up until the end of adolescence. Child development is usually split into three key stages: early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence. During each of these phases, the rate and type of development is different…
Early childhood: From birth to six years of age. This is an incredibly significant period for cognitive, emotional and social development; where most children speak their first words, take their first steps and start to develop relationships with family and friends.
Middle childhood: From six years of age to adolescence. Middle childhood is often thought to be the most crucial years of a child’s life, where not only are they still growing but are also starting to discover themselves and how they fit into the world.
Adolescence: The teenage years. Infamously challenging for many, as bodies change again, children transition into adults and often they start to find themselves and their place in the world, setting down roots that will influence the course of their lives.
It’s also important to remember that childhood development doesn’t just start at birth, and the situation and circumstances a child is born into, as well as the situation their mother is in during pregnancy can also have a large effect.
World Vision is empowering families to overcome poverty
At World Vision, we are focused on working with communities to help children living in poverty. And we’ve been doing it for over 70 years.
We have supported 200 million children in the last five years by tackling the root causes of poverty. Not only do we respond in disaster situations but we also empower families by providing access to safe clean water, healthcare, and an education.
Given the tools, communities and families can lead their own development and build resilience to things like the shocks of climate change.
Saving groups are building community resilience
Families like Mama Angelique’s, 69, are benefiting from World Vision’s saving groups.
She lives with her two grandchildren, Jephté, eight, and Angelique, 10, in Democratic Republic of Congo. When her husband died, she started growing cassava and peanuts, but this didn't provide enough income.
"Feeding my two grandchildren, making them study and taking them to hospital was a problem," she explains.
Mama Angelique heard about the savings group through her church and their partnership with World Vision. “I participated in the different training sessions that World Vision had organised where I learned how to save, manage money and start a small income,” she explains. “There is also a mutual aid fund that is used in case one of the group members goes through a difficult time. This is when you have to support them.”