Breaking Barriers International

OUR PRIORITIES

This work is often multifaceted, overlapping, and intersecting as we work to support children within their environments. We want our children to not live in poverty or violent communities and our wish is that they have more positive life experiences than negative ones. 

Violence Prevention/Reduction

Many urban children who are involved in gun violence come from low-income families and neighborhoods. This environment can lead to feelings of hopelessness and a lack of opportunities, which can drive some young people towards gang activity and violent behavior. In some cases, urban children are able to obtain firearms easily through illegal means, such as straw purchases or theft. The prevalence of guns in their environment can lead to an increased likelihood of gun violence. Children and children who live in communities with high levels of violence may become desensitized to it and see it as an acceptable means of solving conflicts. 

Trauma and Grief

Traumatic events and violence can impact children in many ways. Trauma and grief can cause a child to have difficulty regulating their emotions. They might become easily triggered and have intense emotional reactions that seem out of proportion to the situation. They may become withdrawn or aggressive in response to their trauma or grief. They may also exhibit difficulties with sleeping, eating, or academics or have chronic physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach pain, or fatigue.  Children may have difficulty building and maintaining social connections with others following a traumatic experience. They may also struggle with trust issues and have trouble forming healthy relationships. Trauma and grief can have an impact on a child’s cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, and executive functioning. Overall, the effects of trauma and grief on children can be complex and long-lasting. 

Child Poverty

The problem with children living in poverty is that it can have long-lasting impacts on their physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as their educational and economic outcomes. Here are some potential consequences of living in poverty. They may not have access to resources like technology or tutoring, and they may not have access to extracurricular activities or other enriching experiences that can help with social and emotional development. Children living in poverty may have limited opportunities to explore their interests, pursue higher education or vocational training, and gain skills that can lead to success in the workforce. Overall, the problem with children living in poverty is that it can limit their options and opportunities, making it harder for them to achieve their full potential and contribute positively to society.