Sonntag, 19. April 2020

UNICEF, Propaganda and the formative years

Note: For context of this blog, please visit/review the Unicef-document "The formative years – UNICEF´s work on measuring early childhood development". 

By Agnieszka Lewandowski
Researching my pro-gram-ing I came across the so-called formative years and I asked myself why exactly is it often said that the first 7 years are the most important in a child's development and I was doing a google search, to see if I can find "the origin", reason or some factual evidence for that statement. 

What I came across was a UNICEF brochure on the formative years that I downloaded, opened up and now looking at it, it really makes me angry! The cognitive dissonance and blatant propaganda presented in that brochure is obvious. What it is, is an advertisement for "UNICEF", that plays on our emotional responses to seeing young children. Much more than actually caring for the well-being and well-development of young children worldwide. 

Letz go through it, one by one. The first thing is the design/layout of the brochure: 9 out of 12 pages are dominated by one or more pictures of "happy, smiling children" that seem to do well and have everything they need. Glossy, high-definition photographs. The first emotional response to the pictures of these children is a positive one, I feel good, save, optimistic and I am reminded of my childhood – which yes, pretty much had everything – and that "Feeling/experience" I would want for every child. Because I look at a brochure of "UNICEF", in the same moment that I have this positive emotional response, the positive emotional response is associated with this organization/UNICEF and the impression is created, that this organization actually cares for kids and their formative years. In fact my emotional response had nothing to do with the brochure or the work of UNICEF, but emerged from memories within my subconscious/unconscious mind.

Notice how little "Text" is actually on those 12 pages? And how small the print is? That means that the brochure is designed to favor emotional reactions to the content over factual substance (words, numbers) in/of the brochure. This is the design of a "FOREFRONT" that is presented to paint a certain picture of UNICEF/an organization, while the actual workings and structures of the organization is hidden. In this, our gullibility towards our emotional reactions is staring us right in the face. 

Also to be clear, I am not here to diss UNICEF in particular, but to write out and share a point I have become aware of, that is used on a mass-scale to dampen and control our awareness – I write this to free myself from the constructs of propaganda.

Then there is the page 10, with the only DATA on the whole brochure. Data equals the results of UNICEFs work. Roughly looking over the graphs, it seems that the "situation is improving", right? Every time point (years) has a higher bar to it than the time point before...which should for example mean that kids have more "Learning materials" such as books, playthings and that there is more/better "Early stimulation" in 2015 than in 2000. 

What the graph actually says is that MORE DATA on those points is available now. That more countries provide data and statistics on childhood development. This does not say anything about the facts of childhood and the current living conditions of children around the globe – it creates and imposes a view that "everything is ok, because we (the UNICEF) is working on it". But really? Can an organization such as UNICEF even do that? And are they doing it – what is involved with actually caring for the well-being and well-development of children in their formative years? One might ask: Why do they have to put up such a forefront, instead of SHOWING the actual processes and how-to of supporting children that are engaged in? What do parents need to be, have and know to make a "good impression" on their children in the formative years that will carry and support them throughout their teenage and adult years to become the best they can be?

To know how to support children, we need to look at how to support adults. What do we know about parents? Each parent is inherently wanting the best for their child – I truly believe that each parent would give their child the supervision, learning materials, stimulation and care that the child needs, if they 1.) could and 2.) would know how to. 

1.) is largely determined by the economic situation/living conditions of the parents and to break it down it is a money-(system) problem. Parents need the financial resources to provide their children with food, shelter, water, hygienic conditions and need "to able to afford" to spend time with their children/play with and care for them. Or to not have to put their child to work with very young years to provide additional income for the family. A solid monetary foundation for each person, would even influence the starting-point for having children and the number of children being born. 

So I still advocate for a form of "basic income" and in fact the more advanced form of that, an "equal money system". Because I also advocate that we need to re-think and re-engineer how "money functions" "at its roots". What I see is, that we need to move (ourselves) from a debt-based system to one that is based on unconditional GIVING, Support and Trust in ourselves and each other. If parents are living that way (and are able to live in that way, because they are supported by a system based on that principle) their children will take in a whole different world-view and operation-program in their formative years. 

This leads us to 2.) where we need to ask ourselves what the formatives years actually are and how they work. The best analogy of that is a computer with an empty HD/storage, without operating system etc.... a blank slate. All that the child tastes, smells, touches/feels, hears and sees is imprinted and stored – and at a certain point it starts to copy things like behavior, emotional reaction patterns, mannerism, energies/experiences, expressions from their environment, e.g. Parents and relatives, but can also be the TV or Youtube...or nature and animals...whatever the child interacts with will be taken in and saved to some extent. That means every trait, behavior, reaction pattern and lifestyle choice parents exhibit are on some level taken in and assimilated by their children – in the formative years, it seems, that children have not jet developed "protection and defense mechanisms" and "filters" to what they are taking in and accepting as themselves. 

Parents need to be aware of that and understand that their children will copy them and emulate their behavior. Realizing their role in the children's life is the first step to empower themselves to change some of the behaviors and patterns that they in turn copied and imprinted from those that have gone before them when they were children. De-programming and self-directed re-programming of oneself to live and express a self that is best for all, is the next step of self-empowerment as a parent. It´s funny, as I see now, that we are in our formative years, basically our whole life long...we are all continuously examples (parents) for and learn from/copy each other (children) and therefore have the responsibility to de-program the compromising programs we have taken on and accepted within/as ourselves and become examples of life and living.  

As programming is done through words ("program (n.)" stems from the greek "programma" meaning a " written public note" and "grammar (n.)" from old french "gramaire"= "grammar; learning" a program could easily be understood as something "pre-written" or "pre-learned") Writing and Self-Forgiveness, as well as "speaking things out" are word-based, effective tools for self-change.  For further explanation and examples on this, you can inform yourself about how to properly de-program yourself at

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