Source: Esther Mahlalela | Save the Children South Africa | Digital Engagement Officer
In every single country and community, the COVID-19 pandemic is turning children’s lives upside down. The education of 1.25 billion children and adolescents across 150 countries is on hold. The impact of this crisis will be huge for these children and their countries. It will be felt for years to come. For the most marginalised children in South Africa, it could be life changing. We know from experience in other parts of the world, notably the Ebola epidemic in 2014, that many of these children will find it incredibly hard to go back to school. Whilst they are out of school, they are vulnerable to hunger, violence, child labour or child marriage.
Save the Children is working around the clock with our trusted partners to mitigate the impact of this crisis on children’s lives. We are ready to feed children and to help families and teachers to find ways to continue supporting learning and children’s welfare, building on the strong partnerships and adapting our evidence-based approaches to this new context. When the time comes, we will work with governments and local communities to get children back to school, so they can plan again for their future. But we cannot do this alone. This is the defining human crisis of our lifetime. What happens over the next few months will decide whether or not the gains that have been achieved in child survival, education, and child rights unravel. As a global community, we are in this together and we must join the global fight against this virus by committing to protect our future generations.
We are asking for funding to urgently expand our existing, successful programmes in communities most at-risk. With your help, we can support children to safely and effectively continue their learning and development in this unprecedented global emergency. Please take a look at the attached proposal outlining our response and consider supporting our work, we cannot do this alone.