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Early Life - Kibera Kids

Slumdog Millionaire, City of God...you could make a box office hit from the lives of kids in Kibera, the biggest slum in sub Saharan Africa. Even before they go to school here, children must run the gauntlet of Kibera's crazy and even violent street life.

Scientists warn that stress can raise levels of the hormone cortisol, permanently altering the architecture of young brains. But while stress can be a problem, so can too little stimulation - as scientists discover how important interaction is for childhood development. Experts disagree how critical the first five years are and whether more funding should be diverted to early childhood development. But many of those who set the agenda for global development now regard early childhood as a key priority.

The adults of Kibera are working hard to offer kids a safe and stimulating haven in pre-schools. Pre-school is a safe space for the kids, somewhere they can develop peacefully and-in theory-become less violent adults. But many parents can't afford the ten dollars a month in fees.

For parents and teachers of children like Nasuru, Brian and Patience in this episode of Early Life, pre-school also brings dilemmas. Should it reflect traditional African social values, or the West's more individualistic outlook?

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