World Vision, an International child focussed aid agency has surveyed children and young people in 13 developing countries over the past two months to understand the impact Covid-19 on them.
Across all 13 countries, the respondents highlighted three important factors that directly changed their lives on a massive scale; school disruption, emotional distress due to social distancing, and increasing poverty. 71 percent of the children and young people said that they felt isolated and lonely due to school closures, according to a World Vision press release.
"As lockdowns spread, the most vulnerable children, without access to technology, have no access to education as some of their peers do. Additionally, hundreds of millions of students are not receiving school meals, and many parents are unable to provide food after losing their jobs and livelihoods," said Dana Buzducea, World Vision's Partnership Leader for Advocacy and External Engagement.
91 percent of respondents acknowledged that they were facing emotional distress and troubling feelings, including anxiety, anger, and worry due to the uncertainty of how long this crisis will last and dealing with isolation.
Sixteen year old Anita from DRC, a country that has also been impacted by Ebola, explained "I do not like this situation. We wanted to announce the end of Ebola, but now coronavirus is already coming. Despite the fact that isolation will help protect us from the virus, this will bring starvation that can still kill us too."
Lara, age 7, from Brazil said "One of the most important recommendations is handwashing, but where we live, we don't have water. Many houses get water only once a week; so, how are these people going to have good hygiene opportunities? They can't! This will cause many infections."
Despite these challenging feelings, children and young people feel a strong need to contribute to the fight against the spread of Covid-19 in their respective communities. They stated that it was very important for them to get involved in raising awareness about protecting people from the spread of the virus, using online and to other remote collaboration systems.
"It is essential that they are empowered to do so, in order to make a real positive difference now and in the future," Said Buzducea.
This survey shows that while children have clearly been negatively impacted by the effects of Covid-19, this has not diminished their desire and ability to help out and improve the situation in their communities.