The emotional wellbeing of children is a concern for parents at any time, but with schools around the world closed to halt the spread of coronavirus, many young people are feeling the strain.
Award-winning teachers Armand Doucet and Elisa Guerra have co-authored a book to help guide and support children. The book tells the stories of six children around the world, and how they deal with the challenges.
“The book aims to portray the voices of children and their particular stories during the pandemic,” says Guerra. “It showcases how we face different problems amidst the pandemic and how human connection brings us closer to finding hope.”
The book has been translated into around 30 languages and is available as a free ebook.
Alongside it, the Lego Foundation has developed six play-based learning activities to support parents and carers during lockdown. Linked to the characters in the book, the activities are designed to help children develop their creative, cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills.
What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?
Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.How can we collaborate to stop the spread of COVID-19?
Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19.
The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.
As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.
Resources for children
The book is just one of a number released recently with the aim of supporting children in these strange times.
Illustrator Axel Scheffler helped produce a free digital book for primary school children. Questions about the virus are answered in a child-friendly way. It’s published by Nosy Crow and draws on advice from Professor Graham Medley from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as head teachers and a child psychologist.
Meanwhile, a group of more than 50 humanitarian bodies, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the International Federation of Red Cross, and Save the Children, have also collaborated on a book.
Fantasy creature Ario helps explain how children can protect themselves, and their friends and family, from the disease. Called My Hero is You, How Kids Can Fight COVID-19!, the book is aimed primarily at six to 11 year olds.