Survey Says Impoverished Children Crave Education First

Ask an average group of 10- to 12-year-olds in the United States what they want to be when they grow up, and more than one in four will say famous athlete or singer/actor. Pose the same question to their counterparts in the developing world and professions requiring a college education, like teaching and medicine, top the list.

This finding is part of the second annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey, which polled close to 5,000 children ages 10 to 12 in 44 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Americas – from Afghanistan to Zambia.

Community Gardens Make a Bountiful Oasis for East African Villages

In the Horn of Africa, barren landscapes and dirt fields surround large riverbeds that are totally dry. Herds of goats and camels, tired and emaciated, walk through parched lands in search of food and water. It’s the worst drought the region has seen in 60 years.

As ChildFund International continues its drought emergency operations across this region, it also remains focused on long-term development projects aimed at minimizing food crises.

In Kenya’s Turkana region, the Food for Assets program, operated by ChildFund International in conjunction with the U.N. World Food Program, is producing crops in a desert.

Children in Developing Nations Hungry to Learn

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Most 10- to 12-year-olds in developing nations say that, if they were president of their country, their first order of business would be to provide education to all children by improving their schools or building more of them.
This finding is part of an ambitious multinational survey of children in developing nations. The Small Voices, Big Dreams survey polled close to 3,000 children ages 10 to 12 in 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Americas — from Afghanistan to Zambia.
“Our mission is to improve the lives of children in poverty around the world — a mission that starts with listening to the smallest voices among us,” said Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International, the U.S. member of ChildFund Alliance, which sponsored and conducted the survey.
Ipsos Observer compiled and tabulated the results for the survey, which also found an overwhelming sentiment among the world’s poorest children toward improving their lives through education. More than half of those surveyed (57 percent) said that, were they the president of their country, they would educate all children, improve the quality of schools and construct more of them.
While most children are hungry to learn, the survey found that a great many of them are just plain hungry. When asked what they need most, one in three (33 percent) said food. As president, one in five (19 percent) said that they would help people get food. The emphasis on food is understandable given this finding: one in three children (32 percent) said they go to bed hungry at least once a week.
U.S.-based ChildFund International also works with children living in poverty in the United States. A sampling of those children also participated in the survey, and their responses were largely similar to the answers from children around the world.
“The voices of these children may be small, but their words should resonate around the world,” Goddard said. “And what this survey makes clear is that, irrespective of their country, such children around the world share a common sentiment, attuned in a chorus of hardship and hope.”