Strengthening the Home and Family in Developing Human Resources

Article excerpt

Africa, while still underdeveloped, is undergoing major changes in these areas: industrialization, structural adjustments, development of market-based economic planning, and political changes. A movement toward democracy is key to the political arena.

In the past, development efforts have centered on natural resources, but today knowledge is more important than natural resources. The emphasis is on human-centered development. In the future, development will focus on measures of human capital development.

Under UNESCO, a key goal is to improve the knowledge of women and girls. The home is viewed as the center of socialization, starting with shelter, but also including nutrition, housing, sanitation, and clothing. It is families that provide these basic needs as well as warmth, selfesteem, and management of basic resource. Most importantly, families instill self-esteem in children. If children are taught to manage their personal resources well, then as an adult they will manage the natural resources of their country well.

Thus, the development of human capital begins in the home with the development of the child. The child deserves to five in a safe and secure environment, and have access to education. The protection of human rights in the home leads to the protection of human rights in society.

There are six major areas to be strengthened within the home:

1. Core of family - peace/God, basis for development of core values

2. Empowerment of women - role of women needs to be strengthened

3. Marriage - foundation of a strong family and development of children

4. Health

5. Education, including life skills, aesthetic values, attitudes and aspirations, and skills to develop democratic institutions

6. Basic need for sustainable peace - sharing of natural resources more equitably

It has been said that, "If you education man, you educate an individual, if you educate a woman, you educate a nation."1 Further, the education of women leads to a postponed age of marriage, a decrease in number of children, better health, a decrease in mortality rates, increased education of children, and increased participation of women in all parts of society. The illiteracy rates of women are high. The World Bank International Development Association supported a national literacy program in Ghana, which reduced illiteracy from 67% to 52%. …