The Emerging Risks and Developmental Challenges to Children and the Youth in Ethiopia: the Case of Arba Minch Town
This study is about the developmental challenges and adversities to children and the youth in Arba Minch which is one of the emerging towns of Ethiopia. Primary data for the study was collected through case stories, in-depth interview with key informants from families, experts in concerned organizations, FGD and observation methods. The purpose of the research was to explore how the emerging risk situations in the family, community and school environments are threatening the socio-economic and intellectual developments of children and the youth in the town. It is identified that there are adverse situations for thousands of children and the youth in the family, school and community environments. Risk factors in the community include high rate of substance abuse, crime and violence, unemployment, idleness and absence of children and youth recreational centers. The presence of shops that show pornographic and action video, drug centers around schools, shortage of educational inputs or teaching-learning facilities, absence of variety of learning styles, students’ misbehaviors, and low academic achievements have made schools ineffective. The family environment is also not comfortable for positive child development due to the prevalence of child abuse, child neglect, poverty and family disorganization.
Key words: risks to child development, child abuse, drug abuse, unemployment, youth delinquency
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