Saving Children’s Education Through Art
Millions of children have been affected by extended school closures across Egypt amid the outbreak of COVID-19. Here are the stories of two Syrian children, talking about how the education kits they received through Save the Children have kept them occupied while staying at home, along with the photos shared by their parents.
A little girl’s imagination on paper
“I imagined myself swinging in a garden surrounded by trees, flowers and a lake so I brought my coloring pencils and paper and drew what I saw,” 8-year-old Sarah* from Syria explained. She added that art classes were her favorite at school and that while her school was closed, she ran out of materials. When Save the Children’s education kit reached Sarah, she made decorations for her house. With the help of her mother, she also made a small diary for herself. “I decorated it and began writing everything that makes me happy. My favorite foods, my best friends and the activities I find most entertaining are all on the list.” Sarah moved to Egypt with her parents and older brothers in 2013. She was only a year and a half at the time.
A newly discovered hobby
Ahmed* was never a fan of artwork and handcrafts. He preferred playing football or swimming. “Since I am spending more time at home, I began to realize that art is actually very easy and entertaining. My mother gives us the ideas and prepares the material we will use, then my brother and I start from there.” Ahmed had to flee Syria with his family when he was only three years old. He has since been residing in 6th of October city. The 10-year-old boy has been exploring with the materials he received in his education kit from Save the Children, and his new hobby is to produce cut-outs to hang up at home for every occasion. He even made his own birthday decorations!
“When schools closed because of the current crisis, we followed up with an education center in 6th October and learned that children were panicking from the news they were hearing about illness and deaths,” Omaima Nabil, Educational Assistant in the Sponsorship for Refugees Program explained. “Parents were extremely stressed. Sarah and Ahmed’s families were struggling financially during the first period of lockdown. Things weren’t going well for the parents and their children.”
In response to the outbreak, Save the Children distributed more than 3,000 Education kits to Egyptian and refugee children and families across Egypt, in parallel with hygiene kits, that included hand sanitizers, soap and home disinfectant supplies. These education kits included easy-to-use distance learning tools to help entertain children and maintain their learning and development while schools are closed.
“So far we have conducted 16 remote awareness sessions with parents on topics such as health and hygiene tips, how to protect their children during the emergency and low-cost activities to build their child’s skills at home. Families are more encouraged to get creative with their children, have more talks as a family and even hold little dress-up parties for an extra mile of fun,” Omaima concluded.
*The children's names have been changed for their safety.