Laith (6) is Learning Safely From 'Home' Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic
Laith (6) proudly shows his notebook.
Laith, a refugee child from Syria, was happily studying at school before the COVID-19 crisis started. His favourite thing was learning the English and Arabic alphabet. Now that he can no longer attend school, he is participating in our early years home-school programme.
"Look what I learned today,” says Laith, proudly showing off his notebook. Through home-schooling, Laith is making significant progress. His mother Nisa is proud: "I’m thankful that Laith is participating in War Child’s digital learning programme. It keeps him busy and makes sure he doesn't fall behind with his education.”
Much more than school
For children like Laith, school is about much more than just learning. It's a place that protects him, provides stability and a sense of routine and where he can feel safe. It may be months before schools reopen.
"If children can't go back to school for a long time, there is a good chance they will become depressed and withdrawn," warns teacher Dana. “Providing quality education and activities so that they do not feel distress during the crisis is essential so that children can immediately re-enter schools as soon as they reopen.”
War Child-teacher Dana worries about the development of Laith and millions of other children affected by conflict.
Supporting parents too
In the meantime, we’re doing everything we can to create a safe home situation for children like Laith - so they can continue to learn and develop their inner strength. We do this by focusing on both the children and their parents. We know that it can be incredibly difficult for parents to adequately support children in a crisis situation. It can bring about significant stress and create a tense home situation.
Nisa receives weekly WhatsApp exercises that teach her how to deal with the stress, fear and insecurity that the crisis brings. It helps her to relax. She can do the exercises herself or with Laith. Through voice messages she learns positive parenting strategies. "I've learned how to positively encourage my children in this difficult time,” she explains. “And how to deal with their grief, or my own. In addition, I've learned how best to communicate with my husband."
Through WhatsApp messages we support parents in reducing stress and creating a home situation in which there is no tension.
Counting on a future
With our support, Laith is learning more every day. He’s proud and gets satisfaction from the different lessons he participates in. He is developing well, both mentally and educationally, which helps him move on.
Together we can support children like Laith to continue with their learning - and help prevent the emergence of a lost generation of children. With your help we can deliver quality education to many thousands of children in their homes, settlements and tents. Every child affected by conflict is counting on a future. Can they count on your help too? Please donate now.
*All names in this story have been changed to preserve the safety of the children who take part in our programmes.