Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Words by Albert Nashon-Cohort 4 Fellow
One of the most talked-about young people during this COVID-19 pandemic who has been featured on multiple news platforms such as The New Yorker stating; The High Schooler Who Became a COVID-19 Watchdog saying, “while his friends are worried about whether the prom will be canceled, Avi Schiffmann and his coronavirus-tracking site are navigating global fame. Schiffmann goes to Mercer Island High School and began teaching himself to code when he was seven, mainly by watching YouTube videos”.
Early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. The Stages of brain development from birth to 6 years are key for voluntary movement, reasoning, development of emotions, attachments, planning, working memory, and perception. By age six, the brain is 90 - 95% of its adult weight and peak of energy consumption. These formative stages can only mean all kids are brought up in their most basic brain development period by Parents or Caregivers whom if they do not provide that nurturing environment and daily individualized communication, may not raise a child properly.
Experiences and happenings (negative or harsh) during this time may lead to emotional, esteem, judgment, or intellectual consequences in the future.
BIRTH ENVIRONMENT AND PARENTING. The big question would be how many parents and caregivers understand this basic concept as a child’s most important period of growth?
Most children are therefore taken to trained teaching facilities after the age of 6 which means over 95% of their brains have already been configured based on the prevailing circumstances such as care of the pregnancy, home circumstances, neighborhood, affirmations, hygienic tendencies, post-birth observations, exposure, language, relationships, and play.
What kind of upbringing then do we accord the young ones intentionally and consciously? What role does early exposure have on childhood development? Healthy brain development doesn’t just happen, it takes keenness, interaction, stimulation, love, and care which lead to safety and security, such kids become better in language and skill towards greater communities and lifestyles.
Poverty, distress, family violence, nil communication, and lack of access to quality early learning experiences build traumatic and toxic stress conditions that interfere with this process and increase negative connection on brain development. This negatively impacts a child’s early brain development, and subsequently, their long-term success.
FLATTEN MY WORLD
When Thomas L. Friedman wrote: The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, 2005 after an extensive tour of the journey to Bangalore, India; put to perspective a few concepts including The New Age of Creativity, Connectivity, Power of Communities, Work Flow and informing which could only mean more unlimited exposure, connecting the world very uniquely and without barriers of time, geology, culture, and race.
So now that the aspect of time as relates to the window of exposure and personal development converge, what value has the flattening of the World added to the human growth process? How has it been on the metrics and parameters of inequalities, global goals, and politics of economic inclusion policies worldwide influenced the speed of such a change?
This perspective can be cascaded all the way from the global, continental, regional, national to local levels based on a few fundamental best practices and aspects of change.
#LeaveNoOneBehind and Why Slumcode innovations and Creatives Hub in Kenya
A Summary from the UN Committee for Development Policy states, “Many countries, in particular the least developed, still lack the productive capacity necessary to set them on a path towards sustainable development”.
Aspects of Economic growth remain shrouded on bottlenecks based on the reduction of inequality, poverty and deprivation, and the creation of decent jobs. This pledge to leave no one behind, contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is just about 10 years away remains almost incorrigible based on the time frame.
The key to this campaign includes trends on poverty, education, housing, demographic imbalances, such as rapid population growth and disease control particularly in low‐income countries;To add our voice to the collective approach, we have been on a mission to increase, improve and enhance early and inclusive childhood development through the creation of an easily accessible safe space, equipped with tools and resources to necessitate and facilitate mind development for future growth.
The case of one Haniffah Krissette a child born in the heart of the east side of Umoja estate – Nairobi. Today at 5 and half years, is fluent in spoken English, highly ambitious, able to express herself confidently, questions literally everything e.g. Why did they park wrong, why are people trashing, why did they use that kind of language, why are people not social distancing, why did you walk past the red light? So in nutshell behaviors and attitudes of adults are deeply frustrating her and she wants a Youtube Channel to begin airing her views.
Daring Mt. Longonot at 22months and finally going round the crater at 40 months.
Haniffah Krissette, barely 2 years at the time, scaling Mt.Longonot- a favourite hiking spot for experienced hikers all over Kenya. Her spirit of intuition and desire to tackle challenges to date remains insatiable. And it’s now upon the parents to match her at her game.
Do they blame the neighborhood? No way – they create the desired environment with the available resources and invest time and effort – leaving the rest to God.
WHAT IF we created multiple spaces to have 10, 100, 1000, or 1,000,000 Haniffah’s – couldn’t we bring meaningful change to the future we seek starting with the spaces and capacities we each have.Changing the World is all about the learnings we affirm at child growth. We will conquer the global goals if we emphasize Learning Spaces and Education. Little Haniffah will not conform but reform her society and space.
If our World is flat – let’s get resources to match that call and start with our key growth trajectory – the young minds.