Family as the Key for Integral Development

Image“The Family is the basic unit of the society and as such should be strengthened. It is entitled to receive comprehensive protection and support. (…)“ -World Family Organization

Family is the basic unit of the society; the family instills values in children and educates its members to have an active role in the community and, therefore, in society. With time this concept of family has lost its meaning, so that to some family means only the people that you live with.  Family disintegration has turned the home into a place not as comfortable and supportive as it once was. One indicator of this change is an increase in domestic violence, whether between parents or from the hands of parents to their children. A study by WHO shows almost 50% of children of both sexes reporting to have suffered from violence in their homes[i].

A contributor to the decline of the family is the need for fairer wages that would provide a better lifestyle for family members; bad wages leads to longer working hours, and parents lack enough time to provide children with the attention they need. This shortage of affection often causes children to take violent attitudes, while others develop insecurities. Some children seek to replace their lack of affection by joining a group that gives them a sense of belonging, even when these groups get involved in criminal action.

Because of these situations, it is imperative to return to the true concept of family, and put effort into strengthening that fundamental unit of our society. With family at the center of our concerns, the real development of the person will happen. When a family shows children their proper limits, educates them with love, teaches them values, involves them in decisions, and listens to their needs and their problems, they create an environment where youth can be guided on a path of goodness.  To build a new reformed society, we must build healthy families. Let us therefore work towards an environment for the strengthening of families, so we can proudly say that the family is the basic unit of society, not only with words, but also with actions.

By: Meme Contreras Abraham, member of WYA Latin America

[i] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs150/es/