Just before the wide spread of COVID-19 and community quarantine took place in the Province of Aklan, Philippines, the GFF HELPS Philippines Team made sure to spread COVID-19 awareness to almost one hundred children ages 6-11 through our existing project, Reading Workshops. We covered three cooperating schools, namely, Lapnag Primary School, Daguitan Primary School and San Isidro Primary School. These three schools are quite distant from the center village and have limited access to media, so information on COVID-19 may take some time to reach these communities. So, the project gave them the opportunity to get familiar with COVID-19 and how to protect themselves from contracting the virus.
The COVID-19 Awareness workshop aimed to educate the children on self-discipline, proper hygiene and healthy diet. The project became more effective since we had modeled the importance of cleanliness through spraying alcohol onto children’s hands just before the “COVID-19 Awareness” reading workshop started. The Workshop also included story-telling, showing a video about COVID-19 Awareness, discussions and lessons, oral recitation to improve the children’s speaking skills and drawing/coloring activities related to the disease. Most of the children were aware of this disease so they fully participated and even shared some things that they do at home such as frequent hand washing and eating nutritious food to become healthier and to avoid getting sick.
Phrase the children recited during the workshop
The COVID-19 Awareness highlighted COVID-19 symptoms like coughing, fever and heavy breathing, to whom they should seek medical assistance from, and the different ways to avoid the disease from spreading. This story also instilled to young learners to maintain good sanitation and hygiene (e.g. frequent hand washing, wearing face masks, using alcohol, etc.), to avoid crowded places and to eat nutritious food like vegetables and fruits. As some of the kids are aware of the harm the disease could cause, they challenged themselves to try and maintain good hygiene practices at all times. The children then had their turn to speak in front of their classmates. One small girl said:“I don’t want to get sick, so I will wash my hands, eat fruits and vegetables, and avoid sick people.”
Through this successful input of COVID-19 Awareness, children had not only reduced their own risk of contracting the virus, but were also able to share this information to help protect their families. The GFF HELPS Philippines Team hope that through this workshop the children and their families would be healthier, wiser and more vigilant during these trying times.
By Lady Peace R. Remaneses, Local Representative, Philippines