71% of the children teenagers said they feel isolated and lonely due to school closures
91% of children and young people are in emotional distress due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by World Vision published yesterday.
The survey was conducted with the aim of understanding the impact of Covid-19 on young people over the past two months. The results are based on responses from 101 children and young people (58 girls and 43 boys) from 13 countries, including Bangladesh. The respondents were 8-18 years of age.
About 75% of children find it challenging to deal with social distancing restrictions. Despite that, children feel a strong need to contribute to the fight against the spread of Covid-19, the survey said.
This report highlighted three factors that have changed the lives of young people on a massive scale: school disruption, emotional distress due to social distancing, and increasing poverty.
71% of the children teenagers said they feel isolated and lonely due to school closures.
“Children and young people are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 due to school closures and loss of access to their social safety nets. As lockdowns spread, the most vulnerable children, those without access to technology, have no access to education as some of their peers do,” said Dana Buzducea, World Vision partnership leader for advocacy and external engagement.
“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. They tell us they are unable to contact many friends and relatives, leading to confusion, anxiety, and sometimes despair,” she added.
91% 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 isolation.
Sixteen-year-old Anita from Congo, a country that has also been impacted by Ebola, said: “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.”
7 year old Lara from Brazil said: “One of the most important recommendations is hand-washing, but we don’t have water where we live. Many houses get water only once a week. How are these people going to have good hygiene opportunities? They can’t! This will cause many infections.”
Buzducea said: “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. It is essential that they are empowered to do so, in order to make a real positive difference now and in the future.”
The 13 countries included in the survey are Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone, and Syrian refugee children in refugee camps near the Turkish-Syrian border.