Children at SOS Children’s Villages in Ethiopia share how they are coping with COVID-19 and keeping busy while schools are closed.
Learning to ride a bicycle - Lidia*
“I have not gone to school for the past three weeks because of the coronavirus. I used this time to learn how to ride a bicycle, which I had always aspired to do, by the way. I wish this thing did not happen in our country, but we are trying to get the maximum out of the time we are spending at home. I take part in different activities like helping my mom with household chores. There are a number of posters in our [Village] about the virus and how we can prevent it from happening to us and I follow it the best I can.”
Drawing pictures and singing songs - Twins Noal* and Beki*
“We are in first grade of school,” Noal* and Beki* say. “My favourite subject is math,” Beki* adds, while Noal replies that “My favourite subject is science.”
“Due to the coronavirus our school is closed. We stay at home and read, study or play game,” Beki explains.
“When I stay at home, I draw pictures,” Noal says. “I play games and I sing songs,” Beki adds.
Studying at home - Bereket*
“I am studying at home right now. School is closed because of the spread of coronavirus in our country. I was afraid when we were suddenly told that school is closed because of the virus. However, thanks to the awareness raising activities given by the Village administration, I now know how to keep myself and others safe from the virus. I wash my hands frequently. My family and I clean our home and keep our social distance. I have a schedule to study regularly and help around the house too. I hope for all this to pass soon, so that we will get back to our regular life.”
Listening carefully and protecting myself - Lati*
“I have heard repeatedly that coronavirus is a dangerous disease but at the same time my mom tells me that it is preventable with taking the necessary precautions. So I listen to what I am told very carefully and strive to protect myself from the virus. I stay at home and study. My mother follows up on me to wash my hands and sanitize properly. I miss school and my friends. I hope we will get back to school soon.”
*Names changed to protect privacy of the children
Children’s Villages’ COVID-19 Response in Ethiopia
SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia is closely monitoring the situation and taking action as needed, led by a management team to coordinate the COVID-19 response. The following are some of the activities SOS Ethiopia is undertaking:
- Awareness sessions organized for all employees, children and youth. Hand washing and related posters, stickers and banners are posted in visible areas in the SOS Villages and the national office.
- All SOS schools, vocational training centres and kindergartens have been closed since March 17, 2020, as per government direction.
- Restrictions on external visitors and movement within SOS Children’s Villages.
- Purchasing and stocking of critical food items.
- Hand washing posters are visible at entrances and access to sanitizers is provided at SOS Villages and offices.
- Rapid assessments of the situation, effects and mitigation of COVID-19 are underway.
- Planning of daily study, play and creative activities to keep children engaged.