Young Hanawi teaches children in Afar on how to prevent COVID-19

Semera, Afar region

By Yayo Mohammed
01 June 2020

Hanawi Jemal Nur is 10 years old and lives with her parents and two younger sisters in Semera, Afar Region. Seeking a better education for the 4th grader, Hanawi’s parents sent her to Addis Ababa to live with relatives. But when schools closed on 16th March because of COVID-19, Hanawi went back to Semera to be with her family.

Hanawi grew up in a family that gave her the freedom to speak her mind. They listened attentively to her ideas and welcomed her questions on things she did not fully understand. This upbringing enabled her to develop an active and outspoken personality. Hanawi is curious and not afraid to ask questions at home and at school, an attribute that saw her nominated as a class representative.

Being a fan of children’s television channel Ethiopian Lijoch which is airing shows on COVID-19 under a joint partnership with UNICEF and Save the Children, Hanawi became motivated by what she saw and decided to communicate similar messages to children in her local Afari language. Her messages were carried by Ethiopian Television and shared on social media.

 

Hanawi Jemal Nur is 10 years old and lives with her parents and two younger sisters in Semera, Afar Region.
UNICEF Ethiopia/2020/
Hanawi Jemal Nur is 10 years old and lives with her parents and two younger sisters in Semera, Afar Region.

Before COVID-19, Hanawi appeared on television to talk about the importance of peace and her love for her country, disturbed by the frequency of inter-ethnic clashes that had resulted in loss of life, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and, in many cases, disrupted schooling.

With schools closed, Hanawi spends much of her time taking care of her little sisters, and studying and playing with friends and relatives. She is also interested in learning various languages using her great knack for capturing words as she listens.

Hanawi is also creative and works on different designs and colors using paper. She gets her inspiration from what she sees on television and the environment.

Hanawi has received numerous academic honours. She dreams of becoming an engineer when she grows up.