Ensuring Safety of Children in the COVID-19 Era

Thursday 2 July 2020

When her father passed away in 2018, McClean’s family was forced to move out of their house as they could not afford to pay rent. Since then her mother been struggling to provide for her five children, as well as send them to school. 10 year old McClean lives with her mother and siblings in Seke rural area which lies approximately 40 kilometres east of the capital city, Harare. Shamiso

Like every other child in Zimbabwe, McClean’s life has been disrupted by the pandemic. She is not going to school and not able to play with her friends in the neighbourhood. “It’s really bad that we cannot go to school because we might end up catching Coronavirus.”

“I make sure I do my school work at home so that I do not forget what I learnt at school. My mother and sister help me out with my school work at home. My favourite subject is English because I want to be a lawyer when I grow up. My teacher told me that I have to be very good in English.”

“My wish is that one day I would wake up and hear that Coronavirus is no more and we can go back to school.”

McClean and her young brother Eddie are among 650 children from their rural area who received hygiene kits from Save the Children. The kits include a bucket for use in hand washing, bars of soap, bath towels, disinfectant liquid and sanitary pads for girls, for their use as well as protecting them from catching COVID-19. Her mother Shupai is grateful and says the hygiene kit will assist them at home, as they had nothing to use to protect themselves from catching the virus.

“I would like to thank Save the Children for the gifts they gave to my children. When COVID-19 came, we had absolutely nothing to use to protect ourselves. We did not have any soap or surface disinfectants.”

“The school headmaster from McClean’s school sent a message saying that both McClean and her young brother Eddie must come to school the following day. He did not state why they had to go to school.” “I only found out when they returned home with buckets, soap, face towels, sanitary pads and disinfectants. I welcomed the items with much happiness and they have helped us a lot.”

Under the “Education Cannot Wait” project being implemented by Save the Children in Chitungwiza and Epworth towns, vulnerable children including those with underlying health conditions and other special needs across 40 primary schools in the two towns are being provided with hygiene kits for their use as well as protecting them from catching COVID-19.