Growing up in a global pandemic
Your donations are giving children the essentials they need to face the coronavirus crisis
In the space of a few months, children around the world have had to adapt to huge changes in their childhoods. Girls especially are facing new threats to their safety and their futures, including an increase in violence, extra household responsibilities and difficulties accessing education at home.
We launched our Coronavirus: Children’s Emergency Appeal as the UK went into lockdown and have been working with the other 13 charities of the Disasters Emergency Committee on a far-reaching response.
Since then, the incredible support we’ve received has enabled our teams to reach children with food, hygiene kits, learning materials and essential information, to help them cope with the crisis and stop the spread of the virus.
Zobaira, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Zobaira is 11 and lives in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp. Her family sleep in two bedrooms and share mosquito nets at bed time. In the rainy season, water enters the house and soaks the floor.
Through our emergency response, we’ve been able to deliver vital hygiene awareness sessions in the camp, as well as ensuring water, hygiene and sanitation facilities are operational. We’ve also delivered essential hygiene kits to some of the most vulnerable households.
“I heard about coronavirus and I learnt how to protect myself through awareness sessions in the camp,” Zobaira explains. “I wash my hands with soap before eating, and touching my face.”
“The lockdown has affected me because I am no longer going to school, where I was learning how to read and write,” says 12-year-old Yollanda, who lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Before the coronavirus crisis, Yollanda had been accepted on one of our accelerated learning programmes. She’d never been able to go to school before, because her parents were unable to pay the fees. But when coronavirus started to spread across the country, the learning centres were closed.
To prevent children falling too far behind we had to move quickly, adapting the programme and training our community educators to support the girls with their studies through phone calls, text messages and WhatsApp, as well as sharing information about the virus and prevention.
“This terrible situation has affected us a lot," says 11-year-old Tatiana, who lives in Los Ríos province, a coastal region of Ecuador. "I feel very sad that I can’t go out to play with my friends and brother, and that I can’t visit or see my family."
Through our emergency response in Ecuador, we’ve delivered food and hygiene kits to 33,125 people, including members of Tatiana’s community. We’re also strengthening mechanisms to prevent violence against girls.
Using social networks and the media, including over 40 community radio stations, we’ve reached over 250,000 people with key protection messages.
In Indonesia, our snakes and ladders game means children like Erna and her brother can learn about hygiene as they play.
Our emergency response in their province has included the distribution of over 11,000 hygiene kits and 8,000 posters sharing information on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"The snakes and ladders game is really nice,” says Erna. “We also practice the handwashing tips as suggested by Plan International Indonesia’s staff. We now have a handwashing facility with soap which has been made using a repurposed jerry can.”
A new kind of crisis
The coronavirus crisis in unlike any emergency we’ve seen before. Your support means our teams have been able to adapt their response and reach children, their families and communities with:
- hygiene kits for girls and young women
- essential supplies for community health workers and nurses
- home learning kits, solar-powered radios and pre-recorded lessons
- leaflets sharing vital health and hygiene advice in local languages.
With your help, we’re committed to continuing our response in the world’s most vulnerable communities as the crisis continues. Thank you for your support.
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