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 “Covid-19: Supporting our Children” is the theme of a six-part radio series presented by UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization, with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The series will be broadcast on 12 stations in the Eastern Caribbean, including Observer radio.

It is targeted at parents, guardians and caregivers of preschool to primary-aged children. The aim is to ensure children are protected, enabled and supported throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The topics are fluid because of the changing nature of the pandemic, but include things like controlling the use of social media, coping with day centre closures, children’s mental health, and more.

UNICEF’s Dr Aloys Kamuragiye described the show as being of utmost importance because of the direct and indirect impact the pandemic is having on children and young people. He described some of these as widespread school closures and disruption of education, the possibility of increased violence levels, rising unemployment and poverty projected levels, and increased demand for social protection.

“All children, of all ages, and in all countries, are being affected but some children are destined to bear the greatest costs in ways that permanently alter the trajectories of their lives.

“These are especially children living in the poorest households, children with disabilities, children living in institutions and detention facilities. Their continued care is easily put in jeopardy at a time of crisis,” he said.

The radio programmes will feature local experts that are in tune with the varying situations across the region to discuss Covid-19 and its impact on the socio-economic culture of each island. The parents and carers can ask questions about the topic in the 10-minute show via social media channels.

The participating radio stations are CBC 98.1 – Barbados; NBC Radio – St Vincent and the Grenadines; DBS – Dominica; Helen Radio – St Lucia; ZIZ – St Kitts; CBN 90.9 – BVI; Klassic 105 FM – Grenada; Radio Anguilla 95.5; ZJB Radio – Montserrat; Observer Radio – Antigua and Barbuda; TBC Network – Trinidad; and RTC – Turks and Caicos.

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