Alia in the House

How little Alia spends her day during COVID-19 pandemic

Dalia Younis
Alia in the House
UNICEF/Egypt 2020/Rehab El Dalil
19 August 2020

Although children are less directly affected, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has indirectly impacted children and adolescents everywhere, in different ways.

In Egypt, schools, nurseries and other recreational venues are closed since the middle of March 2020. Children are often kept away from friends and loved ones. Families faced unprecedented economic, social and psychological challenges.

For months, many children suffered from boredom, fear and anxiety based on what they see, what they live and what they hear day and night from adults. Some of them stumbled in their studies, faced health problems and domestic violence.

Perhaps the children won't remember the virus, but they will definitely remember how their parents dealt with that phase. They will always recall the moments of love, fun and unusual innovations while staying together for a long time.

To address this anxiety, the stress and the boredom, UNICEF shared dozens of advice, tips and resources for parents and children to be able to face these difficult times. Through campaigns on social media, UNICEF addressed key topics like hygiene and healthy practices, social isolation and physical distancing, psychosocial support as well as nutrition and disinfection. This was made possible thanks to the generous contribution of UNICEF COVID-19 Solidarity Fund. 

Alia in the House
UNICEF/Egypt 2020/Rehab El Dalil
For the first time, Alia and her father Khaled discovered a common passion while staying at home: Cooking. Khaled says: “We improvise recipes. One time we made pizza, another we created healthy shakes. When the lockdown started, we aimed at keeping her busy so she would not get bored. One week later, I discovered she helped me more than I helped her."
Alia in the House
UNICEF/Egypt 2020/Rehab El Dalil
Everyday, Alia (who loves music and singing) chooses an instrument for mom and dad to join her art activity of the day.
Alia in the House
UNICEF/Egypt 2020/Rehab El Dalil
Alia is keen on washing her hands frequently for at least twenty seconds as she learned from her parents. To support Alia and millions of other children and families who were forced to spend a long time at home because of the pandemic, UNICEF Egypt released a series of videos on the basics of prevention, the importance of physical distancing, fighting stigma and discrimination against patients and healthcare professionals, supporting children psychologically, and how to do learning activities at home.
Alia in the House
UNICEF/Egypt 2020/Rehab El Dalil
"We tried to put a daily plan for Lulu (Alia's nickname) so she wouldn't get easily bored of staying at home. Physical activity was an essential part of this plan. We searched on YouTube for children exercise videos and we taught Lulu how to play them. What we didn't expect was her insistence that we all do it together every day. Exercise became a daily family routine!" Khaled said.