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A place to call home amidst the Covid-19 pandemic

 ‘Thousands of people are dying every day and this scared me a lot! It is the first time in my life that I heard such a dreadful thing!

At this time of the year, the children would have been in the first term school holidays. Normally they have a busy calendar of holiday programmes. School holidays are much fun for them! They love going to the sea with the SOS family, participate in artisanal craft sessions, attend tutorial classes or visit beautiful places around the island. Unfortunately, the unprecedented global public health crisis actually affecting many countries has disrupted their lives. The country is in lockdown! Schools are closed! Children stay at home and cannot run carefree in the village yard or hang out with their friends. Instead, they are adhering to the preventive measures and guidance put in place by the local authorities to contain coronavirus.

‘I pray that the coronavirus disappears quickly!’ says *Lena, 17-years old, who found a loving home at SOS Children’s Village Bambous some weeks before the quarantine was imposed in Mauritius. Despite her daily routines has changed suddenly because of the pandemic, Lena’s happiness lies within her new environment and caring family.

Like her younger SOS siblings, Lena is staying at home due to school closures. She is the eldest child in the village and seeks to it that her younger siblings follow the key prevention measures to protect themselves from COVID-19. Every evening Lena watches the news on television as she is concerned about the situation in Mauritius and across the world. ‘Thousands of people are dying every day and this scared me a lot! It is the first time in my life that I heard such a dreadful thing!’

At the village, the SOS families are protecting themselves from this deadly virus! Everyday children are being sensitised about coronavirus in various ways. Everyone is on alert! Pamphlets and posters for information and advice were distributed in each family houses prior to the confinement to keep children and SOS families safe.

However, Lena and her SOS siblings have found exciting and memorable ways to keep themselves busy. They are involved in various activities. Together they sing, play indoor games like carom board, read books, help SOS mum to concoct delicious meals and of course devote times to their studies. ‘Lots of activities to brighten my day…!’

Lena attends secondary school. Given the importance of education at this stage, she adapts herself with new methods of learning put in place by her schoolteachers. ‘We use educational platforms to stay connected with teachers. Homework and revision activities are shared on this platform. It helps me a lot to keep in touch with my studies during the confinement.’

Lena and her SOS siblings want to go back to school. She is also looking forward going to the beach with her SOS family. ‘Swimming is one of my favourite activities. I can’t wait to swim.’

Staying at home in a confined space could be tough! Nevertheless, it is a great time for SOS families to reconnect, consolidate strong bonds and share some unrushed moments together.

The children have ONE wish – that everything is going to be fine soon!

*Name changed to protect privacy