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Innovation in the time of COVID-19

22 June 2020, Impact of Our Work

A global effort to prevent a global disease 

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates in many parts of the world, Save the Children has been working hard to ensure children and families are protected. From distributing handwashing supplies in the Solomon Islands, to training nurses in Ethiopia, and scaling up our health teams in Bangladesh

As communities and countries went into lockdown, some of the best-laid plans went out the window. Frontline staff worked around the clock to adapt and innovate to be able to continue to reach every last child with the life-saving education, and health awareness they needed to stay safe. They turned to a beloved favourite of children everywhere and something found in almost every home – a radio and a TV.

Radio school in Uganda

In Western Uganda, 13-year-old Ronald is learning from home while schools are closed. In late March, the school Ronald was attending closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. He’s been at home ever since. With a home learning kit, radio, and supportive parents, he’s determined to keep his education on track. 

Ronald reads as much as he can at home, but he says it is “challenging without guidance.”

With Education Cannot Wait and working closely with the local government, Save the Children’s generous supporters helped provide households like Ronald’s with learning packs containing study books with exercises designed for each grade of primary school. Ronald also listens in to the radio lessons; pre-recorded sessions with teachers that follow the national curriculum. 

Ronald’s mum and dad are at home due to the lockdown too, along with their eldest son who is normally away at secondary school. Ronald’s dad says they’ll be helping Ronald and his siblings with their study.  

When he’s not studying, Ronald helps his parents around the home – washing, fetching water and digging. In the afternoon he goes out to play with friends until it gets dark and the curfew begins – “We just play passing the ball as that keeps us apart from each other!”

Ronald and his father studying together in Rwamwanja refugee settlement after receiving a Save the Children learning pack.
Photo: Alun McDonald / Save the Children

Taught on TV

Washing your hands regularly is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19. To help kids understand how to wash their hands, we’ve produced a medley of songs in a range of languages. 

In Ethiopia, where over 2,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, children are being taught by songs played on television and shared through social media. 

We’re all in this together

In countries like Uganda and Ethiopia, where hospital resources are limited, it’s more vital than ever to make sure people know how to stay protected. Here, preparedness and slowing the spread of this virus will mean the difference between life and death. 

Thanks to Save the Children supporters, we’re continuing to educate children through the media – so they can keep learning – and learn how to protect themselves and their family members.  Even during the pandemic, we need to make sure children are getting the opportunities they need to secure a healthy and happy future. 

Stay up to date on how Save the Children is creating a world where every child has a safe and happy childhood