The outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria caught many unawares.
It was an event most people were unprepared for and the institutions across different sectors were no different. It seemed like a joke at first and so many of us thought we would get rid of the virus in no time, because we are used to bouncing back from difficulties in Nigeria. However, the government started putting measures in place as the cases started increasing. It was then we realized the coronavirus is no joke.
The media swung into action almost immediately, creating awareness about safety protocols to combat the coronavirus. But I did not see content suitable for children to learn about the changes happening in their world.
My team - the education team of the UNICEF Nigeria Young Advocates network - saw a gap in the COVID-19 awareness creation. We decided to create an animation for children.
Recently, the government decided to ease restrictions to reopen the economy. The implication of this move is that many children will now see their parents going back to work and think that life is back to normal. They might also simply get bored of staying indoors. So, the animation was created to provide information to children on how to stay safe and protect their loved ones.
Working on this project made me realize the gaps in media reporting. Often, there is inadequacy in providing inclusive and informative materials appropriate for children. Although there is a lot of awareness about COVID-19, we do not have enough child-friendly resources to help children understand the situation.
Working on the animation also helped me realize how young people can find creative and innovative ways to solve problems by leveraging technology. The animation project helped us solve a problem through the power of storytelling and digital media.
I hope this action inspires young people everywhere to be more aware of social challenges, especially in critical times like this, and find innovative ways to create impact.
Thanks to UNICEF Nigeria for supporting us to bring the animation to life!