Early childhood development (ECD) refers to the mental and physical development of a child from prenatal to 8 years of age. Nurturing care ECD is a multisectoral approach that ensures health, nutrition, safety, responsive care-giving and early learning. ECD services will be dependent on the contextual needs and age of the child. Examples of services: health interventions during pregnancy, parent-child home visitation, preschool programs, interventions that increase father involvement, etc.
The ‘Ecology of Peace’ is a conceptual framework that provides a model for exploring the multiple relationships between early childhood development and peace building. Both of these constructs are complex and expressed at several interrelated levels: individual, family and community.
Peace: There are many definitions of peace, but all of them are rooted in notions of individual flourishing, cooperation, mutual respect, and justice. It is one thing for children to be healthy, but an ideal world would foster children who are also peaceful—children who have the capacity for empathy, respect for others, commitment to fairness, and trust in relationships with other people. Read more about the definition of Peace.
Peacebuilding is the process of resolving conflict and establishing sustainable peace in a manner that maximizes justice, equality and harmony (AÇEV, 2012). It is important to note that peace building extends beyond prevention of violence. Peacebuilding is multidimensional, with legal, cultural, political, medical and socio-economic elements (Galgung, 1969). Read more about the process of peacebuilding.
Peacemaking is the process of reducing direct violence through conflict resolution and other non-violence means; it is temporally and spatially constrained by the situation-a reaction in response to the threat or the anticipation of violence (MacNair, 2003). Peace building refers to the process of reducing structural violence; it has a proactive focus with an emphasis on the development of an effective infrastructure to sustain social justice, healthcare and economic development.
Social cohesion is a key element needed for peaceful co-existence within and among diverse social and cultural groups and it is divided into two forms - vertical and horizontal.
Horizontal social cohesion in contrast refers to the interconnections and networks within diverse local community groups and families.
Vertical social cohesion refers to the interface between government institutions and the people; as well as between caregivers and their children.
Sustaining peace refers to preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict, addressing root causes, ending hostilities, ensuring national reconciliation, and moving towards recovery, reconstruction and development.
Toxic stress refers to strong, frequent or prolonged adversity, in the absence of protective relationships.
In the field of peace psychology, violence is categorized as direct or structural; direct violence refers to the interpersonal conflict that harms individuals, while structural violence is expressed through political and economic processes and oppression within a society. Both can have a toxic effect on human health. The causes of direct violence may be associated with physiological processes of development and may be informed by neurobiology. Contextual causes of direct violence include economic poverty, social discrimination and crowding as well as violent acts being condoned or left unaddressed by the family, community or state. The root causes of structural violence include systematic deprivation, unfair political systems and powerful, inequitable social hierarchies.
In the field of peace psychology, direct violence refers to the interpersonal conflict that harms and has a toxic effect on human health. The causes of direct violence may be associated with physiological processes of development and may be informed by neurobiology.
In the field of peace psychology, structural violence is expressed through political and economic processes and oppression within a society, and has a toxic effect on human health. The root causes of structural violence include systematic deprivation, unfair political systems and powerful, inequitable social hierarchies.
Vulnerable children are those who are at risk for not reaching their developmental potential due to preventable environmental influences, including children affected by poverty, conflict, family violence or inequalities; migrants or refugees; orphans or foster children; and children with disabilities whose caregivers lack the resources to properly care for them.
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