At the Association of Children's Museums conference in Phoenix last week, Anita and John Durel facilitated the post-conference session, "In Dialogue With International Children's Museums." We engaged in animated discussions with people from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, El Salvador, China, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Norway, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Canada and the U.S. We delved into the situation for children around the world, addressing access to quality education, the persistence of rote learning in many countries, the impact of violence and crime, poverty and economic hardship, and poor health. Across the globe there are people working to create a better life for children and families, and who understand that opportunities for play, informal learning, and creativity are essential for healthy early childhood development everywhere.
In the words of Michael Akinleye from Nigeria: "The future of these children lies in their good start up in life.... I am willing to use every God-given opportunity to give Nigerian children a future through learning and play for creative living."