A leading UK psychologist has compared London’s most vulnerable children – those living in violent cultures – to the children residing in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.
Professor Sandra Jovchelovitch from the London School of Economics and Political Science was speaking at a conference today to launch a report on the work of UK charity, Kids Company.
“For many children who live in London, violence and criminality are a way of life. They witness shootings, stabbings and even killings of friends and relatives,” Professor Jovchelovitch said.
“Many of them have been shot or stabbed and suffer emotional and sexual abuse. They live in one of the most cosmopolitan and rich cities in the world, but their situation is comparable to that of children in Rio’s slums.”
Professor Jovchelovitch said this environment led to long-term physical and mental health damage, but the work of charities such as Kids Company gave “visibility” to their plight and filled gaps left by the government sector.
“The model that Kids Company follows – providing vulnerable children with unconditional love, commitment and positive parenting – is essential if we are to counteract the effects of a violent and abusive upbringing that thousands of children in our country are subjected to,” Professor Jovchelovitch said.
The conference, “Molecules of Happiness: Why Love Matters for Vulnerable Children”, presented research from LSE’s Department of Social Psychology, University College London and University of East London.
For details of the full report, go to: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/52856/1/Jovchelovitch_Kids_Company_Diagnosis_2013.pdf
26 September 2013