A young Indian boy putting on a facemask.

Masked But Not Muted on World Children’s Day

Posted by Speakeasy News > Friday 20 November 2020 > Celebrate

19 November is Unicef's annual World Children's Day. This year, the UN organisation is highlighting how children have been impacted by the global pandemic.

Although children are the group in society which is least affected by actual infection by Covid-19, many children are being negatively impacted by all the collateral affects. Loss of schooling and socialisation for example, and increasing poverty levels all worsen children's situation. Although many countries have tried to provide distance learning for children, at least 30 per cent can't access it worldwide, with children in the least developed countries the worst affected.

A young boy in Rwanda holds up a radio to his ear to hear his lessons during school closures. He has an exercise book on his knee and a pen in his hand.
In Rwanda, Kevin Igihozo , 11, studies at home due to coronavirus-related school closures, listening to his Primary 5 lessons on the radio every day.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore asserts about the post-pandemic era:
"This is not about a return to the way things were. Children will never accept a return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic because ‘normal’ was never good enough. Our post-pandemic rebuilding must meet the scale of this moment by overcoming our differences - and working across generations – to rebuild a world we want our children to grow up in. World Children’s Day must be a day to reimagine a better future, for every child.”

This video carries the same call to action. You'll find the poem used  in the voiceover further down the page.

Outside our window, the world is suffering
Overcrowded hospitals awash with pain
Difference met with disdain
We hear the cries of Mother Earth.
We are her children you can’t silence
She will hear our poem for her forests,
Our song for her oceans,
Together, our call will be a thunderstorm.
We are never too young, Nor too small.
Racism, discrimination, inequality –
Let’s erase them all.
Masked, not muted, me and you.

Together, we will reimagine the world,
Because this is our way.
This is our planet.
This is our day.
A kid is just a kid, they say
But when the world opens its eyes,
It will see us for who we are.
Masked, not muted, you and I.

Listening to the Voices of Youth

The organisation has also released a series of videos of Unicef Goodwill Ambassadors discussing with young campaigners in different countries fighting to make a better future. In this one actor Orlando Bloom has a conversation with 11-year-old Maria from Barbados about her quest to help the environment.