New Children’s Storybook Helps Kids Cope With COVID-19
Helpful for parents and teachers, this new book — with amazing illustrations by Helen Patuck — helps kids understand how and why their world has changed.
The world has changed in just a few weeks … and everyone is having to deal with it. It is much easier for adults to understand how and why their world has changed than for children who all of a sudden have had their world turned upside down.
Help is now here.
A new storybook launched today that aims to help children understand and come to terms with COVID-19.
Produced by a collaboration of more than 50 organizations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children, the book hopes to help parents explain to kids what has happened.
With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!” explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality.
The book – aimed primarily at children aged 6-11 years old – is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings.
“The experience of an emergency can significantly impact the mental health and psychosocial well-being of a person. It can have immediate as well as long-term consequences for individuals, families, and communities,” states the IASC.
During the early stages of the project, more than 1700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world shared how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. The input was invaluable to script writer and illustrator Helen Patuck and the project team in making sure that the story and its messages resonated with children from different backgrounds and continents.
In order to reach as many children as possible, the book will be widely translated, with six language versions released today and more than 30 others in the pipeline.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization said, “Previous humanitarian emergencies have shown us how vital it is to address the fears and anxiety of young people when life as they know it gets turned upside down.”
“We hope that this beautifully-illustrated book, which takes children on a journey across time zones and continents, will help them to understand what they can do to stay positive and keep safe during the coronavirus outbreak,” added Dr Tedros.
Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO said, “Sharing facts and reliable information is vital to respond to COVID-19, and I wish to commend the creativity and passion of all artists, writers and publishers who find compelling ways to translate and craft stories and artwork so they can reach children and families to comfort and guide them through a distressing situation. UNESCO is proud to support this initiative and we see this as an example of the contribution of the artistic community to the well-being and resilience of all.”
It is being released as both an online product and audio book.
Source: WHO Press Release