Helping Children Cope with Cornonavirus Lockdown

Smile Foundation conducted a week-long pan India painting project for positive and productive engagement of children at home

New Delhi, April 06, 2020: The lockdown due to coronavirus has shaken the entire world. Millions of children are displaced from their schools, leaving the parent-communities finding ways to channelize kids’ energies into at-home life. In a bid to help parents and schools, keep the children busy and engaged productively, Smile Foundation came up with a week-long pan-India painting project.

A social development organization which works with school going children- both privileged and underserved– under their Child for Child programme, started the all India painting project to keep children busy with colours to fight gloom and boredom.

“This project is primarily designed in keeping the benefits of art therapy in mind. This boredom, gloom and uncertainly caused by the spread of virus and related deaths mostly always transfers to children where it negatively impacts their mental health. The idea is to manage behaviors, process feelings, and reduce stress and anxiety, which affected all children, across society,” said Santanu Mishra, Executive Trustee and Co-Founder, Smile Foundation.

“It is almost a journey of self-discovery, where these children showcase their understanding of the fears surrounding them. Creating art often helps one acknowledge and recognize feelings and worries that have been lurking in the sub-conscience,” he said.

Smile Foundation’s Child for Child team reached out to thousands of their school partners in a bid to keep students not only busy and engaged productively but also to compete for fun. A national level campaign, “Let’s Win the Fight over Corona” was started on March 30 and concluded on April 6.

“We were overwhelmed with the tremendous response we received from across zones. Most entries, almost 50% came from Maharashtra, probably because the state has now become the epicenter for Corona Virus in India.There are some beautiful paintings that have been submitted by children,” said Monica Mor, Head, Child For Child Programme, Smile Foundation.

“This Corona pandemic has truly left our students affected and they really want to do something, whatever little while staying home. The submissions vary in their concepts, from “Washing Hands”, “Break the Chain”, “Social Distancing”, “Save the Earth”. Children as young as 4 years have sentin their drawings. This clearly shows that students care and that they want to be heard,” she said.

Child for Child, is a flagship initiative of Smile Foundation that works towards sensitization of privileged children and their parents, towards the existing inequalities around them. Under the program, Smile visits various schools and conducts engaging sessions for the young minds.

“It’s a great initiative to make the kids engaged with the activities and to make them aware on Covid 19”, said SuneethaManthri from Hyderabad, whose 12 year’s old daughter studies in Global Edge School.

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