Amid plans to ease lockdown in the UK, children worldwide have shared their experiences of COVID-19 restrictions in a unique e-book launched today (1 March).
Our COVID-19 Artwork contains drawings, pictures, poems and narrative from children aged four to 14, with entries depicting subjects ranging from the difficulties of social distancing to the ‘superheroes’ fighting the virus.
The book was created by the International Network for Child and Family Centred Care (INCFCC), and started at the beginning of the first UK lockdown in March 2020.
One child, 13-year-old Luyando from Zambia, wrote: “The World is falling apart, The roads are empty, the crowds too small, And no trace of life outside, none at all”.
Another child, 11-year-old Layan from Jordan, talked positively about the influence of the virus on her life explaining, “I knew the real meaning of love after we get locked down in our homes because of COVID-19”.
The vast majority of contributors were living through moderate to severe restrictions when they submitted their designs, coming from 17 of the INCFCC’s 22 countries, including Ghana, Sweden and Australia.
The INCFCC is a global collaboration of nurses from 22 countries who work with children and young people, and the book highlights ‘just how much COVID-19 has impacted them’, as Bernie Hill, one of the editors of the book and Professor in Children’s Nursing at Edge Hill University, explains.
“The pandemic has been inescapable,” she said. “But our young people are living through it in their formative years, so hearing and understanding their perspectives is vital. It is clear from the children’s contributions that COVID-19 has impacted on their lives in a big way and, as well as informing us as professionals, we hope that their contributions will help and reassure other children.”
Dr Mandie Foster, Lecturer at Edith Cowan University, Australia, co-chair of the INCFCC and originator of the idea, said:
“This project is incredibly valuable, not just for our network but for anyone worldwide who wants a snapshot of life for children during the pandemic. It’s something we’re all really proud of, and we’re very grateful to the young people involved for sharing their experiences.”