On the heels of the presidential election in the U.S., more than 6,200 children from 47 countries are weighing in with their own set of presidential priorities.
The third annual Small Voices, Big Dreams global survey, commissioned by ChildFund International — a member of ChildFund Alliance — and compiled by GfK Roper, asked children around the world, “If you were president or leader of your country, what would you do to improve the lives of children in your country?”
Overwhelmingly, children answered that improving education would be a top priority under their leadership. One in two (50 percent) respondents in developing countries said they would improve education or provide greater enrichment opportunities.
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Ibrahima, a 12-year-old from Guinea, where an overwhelming 77 percent of children would improve education, said, “If I was the president, I would encourage education for every child and would multiply school infrastructures in every village where there are maximum numbers of children of school age.”
The Small Voices, Big Dreams survey allows children like Ibrahima to share their hopes and dreams and for ChildFund to improve its programs by listening to children to better address their needs, fears and hopes for the future.
While most children believe that getting an education is the key to a brighter future, providing basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter was a concern for children from both developing and developed nations. Approximately 23 percent of all children surveyed acknowledged that affording these basic items would improve the lives of children in their countries.
Creating jobs is also a top concern for children living in developed countries. While unemployment rates are declining in the U.S., children still recognize that country leadership should create employment opportunities and address inequality. Of all developed countries, 17 percent answered that addressing poverty and creating jobs are important compared to 13 percent of children in developing countries.
Health care remains a hot topic in the U.S., but only five percent of children living in developed countries felt that health care needed improvement if they were president. Surprisingly, only nine percent of children living in developing countries felt that health care needed improvement in their respective countries.
Despite the differences in priorities, children are hopeful about their futures and the change they can bring to the world, and that’s good news.