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What Can Be Gained from Listening to Children Living in Poverty? And How to Achieve it? Observatoire de l’Enfance, de la Jeunesse et de l’Aide à la Jeunesse.

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Presentation on theme: "What Can Be Gained from Listening to Children Living in Poverty? And How to Achieve it? Observatoire de l’Enfance, de la Jeunesse et de l’Aide à la Jeunesse."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Can Be Gained from Listening to Children Living in Poverty? And How to Achieve it? Observatoire de l’Enfance, de la Jeunesse et de l’Aide à la Jeunesse

2 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty2 Listening to children: how and what next? Preamble  Listening: easier said than done (we, adults, know better!)  What next? Trying to be policy oriented Plan  How to listen to children living in poverty?  What can be learned from listening to them?  How to translate these lessons in recommendations

3 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty3 How to listen to children living in poverty? (1 ) Methodology: setting the right conditions Four distinctive features 1.Meet the children:  in a setting familiar to them  in the presence of other children they know  in a context which is not stigmatising 2.Meet the children twice in order to neutralise whatever limitation is attached to a first and once encounter

4 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty4 How to listen to children living in poverty (2) 3.Make sure your understanding of what they say is the same as their understanding 4.Give priority to what best suits the children you meet  be ready to listen individually to a child if he is not comfortable with the group  use different channels of expressions (conversations but also photographs, drawings, games, and so on)  try to make it all as fun as possible

5 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty5 How to listen to children living in poverty (3) Example: what would you take with you to stay on a desert island for one week? You have three suitcases:  one for happiness: symbolised by a heart  one for dreams: symbolised by a cloud  one for things to forget: symbolised by a stop sign 6 groups of ± 5 children aged 6 to 12 in different settings Plus: 3 comparison groups: children from affluent families

6 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty6 What we have learned? Organising framework: children subjective and psychological well-being  Relationships with themselves  Relationships with others  Relationships with the environment Strategies to cope with the impact of poverty

7 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty7 Relationships with themselves Sharing responsibility for dealing with shortages (a common motto is: don't waste food) Taking their share in making ends meet Feeling responsible Having to act as support for their parents The meaning of “struggle for life” : lucidity and maturity

8 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty8 Relationships with others Mobile phone, console game, computer, internet  = essential belongings to belong to  = open playgrounds for children of today Acute sensitivity to unfairness, inequality of treatment, breaking one’s promise + intense emotional reactions

9 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty9 Relationships with their environment Access to extracurricular activities:  Huge potential of opportunities: to socialise outside school, to engage in rewarding activities, to be recognised for unique competencies, …  Great expectations  Disappointments: financial and socio-cultural barriers

10 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty10 Strategies to cope with the impact of poverty? How their actively deal with it?  Consented segregation: minimising the risks of being rejected or stigmatised -> finding one’s place, the place where I feel at ease ->withdrawal into oneself  Solidarity between peers: sort of  There is a link between us. If anyone fight, I will go directly on him, sure. You don’t touch one of us in our tower block without having the rest of us coming to rescue  Pets and transitionnal objects

11 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty11 Recommendations (1) 1.Transfer of knowledge: tools and tricks from research methodology as communications skills for professionnals Ensure all those working with and for children understand the impact of poverty and social exclusion and the need to listen and to take account of the views of children 2.Paying due attention to everything that links and connect these children to others and to their environment

12 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty12 Recommendations (2) " the hardest thing is not living with nothing but to be considered as nothing " 3.First of all, do no harm (Don’t be evil, Primum non nocere) An oath of Hippocrates for social workers, teachers, care givers …

13 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty13 Credits Elsa Albarello and Muriel Williquet from Sonecom, authors of the study Christine Mahy and Pierre Doyen, Walloon Network for Fighting Poverty for their precious contribution at different stages of this study Full report (soon) available on the Internet site of the Observatory for Childhood, Youth and Youth Care of the French community Ministry

14 02/09/2010Listening to Children Living in Poverty14 Observatoire de l’Enfance, de la jeunesse et de l’Aide à la Jeunesse


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