Youth Voices Creative Project

We recently carried out a survey with children and families across Canada that found many children are worried about falling behind in school, two in three feel lonely and they are bored at home.

Parents are under acute pressure with schools closed, half are worried about their children’s mental health, 42% are concerned about keeping up with their children’s schoolwork, and 1 in 3 noticed their children are restless.

Children and youth are always full of imagination and creativity, it’s in their nature to want to play, learn and have fun with their friends. We know that through arts, children can find unique ways to express themselves, share their thoughts, feelings and cope with stressful situations.

As part of our global Children’s Voices Creative Project, we reached out to the kids of Toronto’s Muirhead Public School to hear how their students are coping and feel about this significant life change, through photos, drawings, and poetry.

Here’s what the kids had to say:

Lana, age 5, drew a picture of herself standing outside of her house and school;

Alex, age 9:

“It makes me feel afraid thinking of someone I love being sick or hurt. I feel sad when I can’t play the sports I love to play with my friends.”

“I can’t wait to be able to give them all a big hug and not have to think about how close we are standing.”

“The advice I would give to children who feel that is to find someone they can talk to about it. I also try to change my thoughts by thinking about something else.”

Sarah, age 9:

“Don’t go anywhere. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can spread the coronavirus, if you stay home you can save lives. Do your part to stop the spread. And don’t worry, it will pass and we will once again have fun with friends.”

“I am excited to go back to school hopefully soon to see my friends again, see my teachers, and get back into a daily normal routine, even if we have to wear masks and gloves.”

Kiara, age 10

“My advice for children around the world who are dealing with this coronavirus chapter in their lives, is to remember that this is temporary, to have faith that humanity will endure, and by working together to win this fight will make us stronger and save our world.”

Rein, age 5 drew a picture of Earth being “closed” due to COVID-19;

Safiyyah age 9

An excerpt from her poem:

“Oh, how I miss my friends, our silliness, our long conversations
I even miss our dramatic fights
Oh, how I miss my freedom. The freedom to be a child, to just run and play…
Oh, how I miss going out to the malls, the parks, meeting friends, visiting my family.
They remain positive, want to help support their families as much as they can.”