A Day in the Life of our Orphans in Lockdown
A few months ago, an infectious disease – a new strain of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 – took hold and quickly spread around the world, shocking medical professionals and governments across the globe in just how deadly it was proving to be. World leaders, along with WHO and experts all over the world warned of the impact of COVID-19, and, as a result, a huge number of countries enforced lockdown conditions in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease and save as many lives as possible.
India is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and the risk of COVID-19 infecting over 1.3 billion people was something that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to avoid as much as physically possible. Modi ordered the entire country to go on a full and complete lockdown on March 25th, 2020.
The enforced lockdown meant that many businesses and charities had to close, and this, unfortunately, included our orphanage in Delhi.
If you have read our magazine, you’ll know that our children make the most of their time both inside and outside of the village. Every day, these children would leave the grounds to go to a local school, however, since the lockdown, they have not been able to do this.
How are we Caring for our Orphaned Children during Lockdown?
While the children are unable to leave the orphanage to go to school, they have been making the most of their time together within the permitted areas. Our team has gone to every effort to ensure that everyday life and routines are kept as normal as can be, and the children have been getting home-schooled as much as possible.
In addition, we have been encouraging interaction and engagement amongst the children while maintaining all necessary safety precautions. The children are being kept healthy and active, during the time that would otherwise be spent travelling, with indoor physical education classes that are led by the children. There have also been outdoor sessions, including yoga and stretching, as well as ensuring general play and downtime.
Creativity is being explored, and some of our children have kept themselves busy by baking cakes for birthday celebrations and drawing – just look at their creative skills in action!
Why Looking out for Children is so Important during Lockdown
Lockdown measures for much of the world come suddenly, and while even the greatest preparation for such events can help manage such a situation, the impact it can have on both mental and physical health is huge. Disruption to everyday lives, such as not being able to see family, loved ones, and friends or even going outside as much as we would like has taken its toll.
Since the lockdown measures were enforced in the UK, a survey by YouGov has found that many parents are seeing negative effects already. 32% of parents with children aged 5-18 years have seen an increase in tantrums and fighting, as well as nightmares, crying and stomach aches as these young people struggle with disrupted routines and managing their emotions.
While many youngsters may not fully comprehend the extent of the pandemic and the measures that have followed as a result of it, they certainly pick up n the anxieties and emotions of those around them. This combined with missing their friends can lead to changes in behaviour, as seen in the survey.
With this in mind, it is essential for our children’s wellbeing that we try to maintain a level of normalcy where possible.
What are others doing to help their children during Lockdown?
Without the comfort and familiarity of school, a lot of daily routines for children have been thrown into disarray. With them now stuck at home for almost their entire waking hours, it is down to parents to keep them entertained, many of whom are likely to be working from home, too.
Thankfully, the wonders of technology have made things easier. Joe Wicks is hosting live PE lessons every weekday morning on YouTube, David Attenborough is teaching Geography on the BBC iPlayer, and there is an abundance of resources available to help keep children focused and engaged with learning outside of the school environment.
We have also seen a lot of parents encouraging their children to develop their life skills – baking, gardening, DIY, and helping out with household chores such as cooking family meals and cleaning. With fewer external distractions, creative activities such as reading, writing, drawing, and dancing are also making a comeback into daily life.
What can you do to help your children?
Dedicating full days to entertaining your children during lockdown is not always possible, however, there are many ways you can help your children through this difficult and unprecedented time:
- Put together a basic daily plan or timetable of learning for your children – but don’t stress if this is not followed in full or if you are unable to fill the entire day, this is a stressful time for all involved, and productivity will be affected
- While learning activities are important – your school may be able to provide these, and there are lots of free resources online, too – it is also important to include breaks for snacks and recreational ad physical activities, too
- Include home learning activities like cooking, chores and get creative with DIY or small projects to make the days feel less entirely focused on traditional academia
- Ensure time is set aside for calls, Facetime or Skyping family, friends and loved ones
- Allow your children to help out where possible, in the home and outside in the garden if you have one. You could even let your child drop off supplies to a local food bank or a neighbour in need, providing all safety precautions are followed
- Finally, talk to your children. Explain the situation that the world is facing in this pandemic and utilise resources to help them understand how the virus is affecting lives around the world. Stay calm, and ensure they know and are following all government guidelines when it comes to staying safe and healthy.