Listen to Me: Protecting the Development of Young Children in Armed Conflict

Young children do experience violence, they do try to understand it, and they do remember it. We must pay attention to their reactions to these experiences. We must learn to comprehend the meaning of violence for young children especially when they lack critical language skills which help them to organize their perceptions and express their feelings. There is no way to immunize infants and young children against the plague of violence devastating much of the world. But there are ways to protect children, to heal them, to nourish the resilience of childhood, and to keep hope alive. The goal of this paper is to strengthen our capacity to develop programmes for young children and their families. Programmes that prevent the accumulation of risk and enhance the social and psychological resources that underlie coping and resilience. In achieving this the goal the following issues are discussed.

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