Lockdown Poems from Children Across the World Experiencing Life During COVID-19
Since March 2020, the lives of billions of children been turned upside down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Today, children around the world are still out of school and experiencing the effects of remote learning, lockdown and other "new normals".
To capture their experiences, Save the Children invited children from countries around the world to write short poems about life under lockdown, sharing their hopes, fears, and how the pandemic has changed their lives.
From Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, their lockdown poems bring to life the experiences of children living through this pandemic. Despite their differences, their struggles are shared and they remain united in their hope for a brighter future.
Vilma*, 10 from Mexico
Before the virus, I went to school, everything was happy.
Now I see people with face masks and few cars
but I am happier to have more time with my mom and I have more days to play.
I’m afraid that my family and friends will get sick.
I miss playing with my friends at school.
I miss visiting my grandparents at their house.
I dream about seeing my best friend and then us going to the beach.
While this [lockdown] happens, I draw pictures, I play and I do homework.
I hope that this ends so I can go back to seeing my friends.
When all this ends, I will go to the park to skate.
All this will pass, we will be fine, if we take care of ourselves [and] wash our hands, the virus will die.
Stay at home so we can go out.
Lincoln*, 11, from the United Kingdom
Life was always fast-paced, we never slowed down,
Until everything stopped when Corona came to town.
Now all is quiet and there’s peace all around,
We’ve looked in our hearts and kindness we’ve found.
We learn now with mum, this is a new feature,
But we can’t wait to get back to our teacher.
I miss Sea Cadets, school, my friends and my dad,
I miss sharing the fun times and that makes me sad.
We’ve had social distancing picnics, social distancing walks,
Social distancing hugs and social distancing talks.
I’m looking forward to getting away,
The beach, the hotel and a perfect holiday.
When it is? I’ll throw my arms open wide,
And shout to the world, WE CAN ALL GO OUTSIDE!
Don’t give up hope, the end is in sight,
If we all stick together, we’ll all win this fight.
Gradi*, 14 from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Once, we used to live well.
Meeting with my loved ones,
our families and my friends.
Today, we are forced to remain confined to our home.
No schools, no churches, no meetings.
Everyone is obliged to wear a mask and respect the prevention tips in order to fight against this disease which is called coronavirus.
Purity*, 14 from Nigeria
Oh cry the best you can cry; I can feel the hold as it holds
You put our health at risk and our education has been halted by you
We can longer go to school, we want to be in a learning environment
We find it hard to eat, street children, poor homes, suffering, fending for themselves
We wish you no successes every day running lives across the nation
You’ve become a thorn in our flesh
Our fears keep us awake a night, seeing and hearing new cases every day, putting us in a state of total confusion, not knowing what’s going to happen next.
We’re here to support each other, as children we can lead to our capacity
so stay safe by adhering to the preventative measures, each day will pass, we will walk together
-in love, no matter what comes our way.
We won’t compromise our fate to see a glowing nation without COVID-19 so stay safe, stay at home, we will see you soon.
Leonardo*, 14 from Italy
This quarantine makes me think,
while I just want to drown in those thoughts
that today more than yesterday, remind me of its purity
I seem to be on the other side, dreaming of my freedom.
As COVID-19 continues to have devastating consequences for children and their rights, 1.6 billion1 children have been out of school during the pandemic and temporary closures have impacted over 90 percent of students worldwide. Never before have so many children been out of school at the same time.
“These powerful poems show the enormous impact coronavirus has had on children’s lives, as well as their strength, resilience, and hopes for the future,” said Yolande Wright, Save the Children’s Director of Inclusion. “It is so important we listen to children directly during these unprecedented times—we are not all affected equally, and children can be particularly vulnerable.
"This is not just a health crisis, but a threat to children’s rights. Over 1.5 billion of the world’s children have been out of school for significant periods of time and millions are being driven into extreme poverty and face a very uncertain future. We’ve made huge progress in the last twenty years on children’s rights and COVID-19 risks reversing this progress.”
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*Names have been changed
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