Children in coronavirus lockdown spread hope across the world
One of the truly amazing things about working in World Vision is the chance to hear children’s stories from all around the world.
We work with some of the most vulnerable children in difficult places, so often the stories are hard to process – but there’s always hope too. Families starting to make a better living, children recovering from illness or grief. The truly astounding thing is the way children will choose to find the light at the end of the tunnel – and often drag their adults towards it.
During the current coronavirus crisis, children are being affected in so many ways, whether it’s missing education, missing play with friends, worries about loved ones, confusion or boredom. But, once more, they’re finding ways to bring hope and healing to those around them.
Choosing hope in the UK
If your daily exercise takes you down any residential streets, the chances are you’ve noticed an ever-growing number of rainbows in house windows. Children up and down the UK have been creating rainbows as signs of gratitude to keyworkers and to share hope with their communities.
As well as scattering the country with rainbows and cheering for NHS workers and other keyworkers from their front doors every Thursday evening, British children have also embraced their new hero, Captain – sorry Colonel – Tom Moore. From sending messages of encouragement on social media, to creating heartfelt cards for his 100th birthday, young people across the UK have been united by his commitment to helping the NHS.
And others, like seven-year-old Tara in Cambridgeshire, have been using social media to encourage their peers to stay safe.
Rising to the challenge worldwide
British children aren’t alone. Young people all around the world are responding to the pandemic. From the Philippines, where 17-year-old Jomarie is volunteering …
“I am volunteering in my community to battle the coronavirus pandemic and raise awareness. I feel this is an opportunity to help others.”
- Jomarie, 17, Philippines
… to Bangladesh, where Ahona, Sanjidul and Meghla are using social media to share health messages with those around them – knowing that spreading awareness among their peers will help to influence society as a whole.
“I think we can educate children about the pandemic – why it is so harmful and why people are freaking out so much. If we educate children, they can, in turn, spread the information to their families.”
- Ahona, 16, Bangladesh
“Many people are confused by the misinformation or are listening to rumours. [We can] make them aware of information from the World Health Organization (WHO) or other trusted sources and spread hotline numbers. All this can be done by building a network of other teenagers.”
- Sanjidul, 15, Bangladesh
“In this pandemic, children should take extraordinary steps for fighting against these monsters [coronavirus]. At first, we have to know properly about this virus, and then we can educate other children how to be safe from it.”
- Meghla, from Bangladesh
Young people around the world are doing whatever they can to practically stop the spread of the virus
“We can use social networks, WhatsApp groups, blogs, or other tools to help disseminate the message and teach [others] how to stop the spread of the virus and how to act if we get infected, so we are not infecting others.”
- Anahi, 15, Nicaragua
“We need to motivate and speak to people so they can understand how serious this situation is. We have to be more in solidarity with each other.”
- Rebeca, 17, Peru
… and spread hope instead
“We are doing videos with information on what we cannot do. We’re doing storytelling for children to keep them entertained and occupied.”
- Lara, 17, Brazil
“In this period, [the Internet] is the most used means of communicating. Therefore, we should take advantage of this and spread as many motivational messages as possible.”
- Teodora, 16, Romania
“If we upload a video to Facebook, other children will feel more supported and [understood] by us. Facebook is the most accessible platform that can be used to support people during the quarantine.”
- Francisco, 15, Peru
“We should start a social media campaign. What’s more important is to keep spreading good, positive vibes through awareness.”
- Suelv, 15, Albania
The young people’s opinions and ideas quoted here are taken from a recent World Vision report Children’s Voices in the time of COVID-19: Continued child activism in the face of personal challenges.
We spoke with 101 children in 13 countries to explore young people’s reflections and perceptions of the COVID-19 outbreak. While they expressed some deep feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, it’s also clear that they want to play a positive and constructive part in moving through the current crisis.
Donate to our global Coronavirus Appeal now.
If a young person in your life is struggling with lockdown, try these wellness activities together.
Read about more amazing young people we’re blessed to work alongside:
- Ajlin: 14-year-old youth leader has some sage advice about following the rules and staying positive.
- Paska: Possibly the best big sister in the world, sacrifices her education to save her baby sister’s life in South Sudan.
- Lydia: British 11-year-old turned disappointment into hope with a virtual fundraising performance of songs from Oliver!