CHILDREN and young people from across Northern Ireland have put pen to paper and shared their experiences of the pandemic by creating ‘Letters of Lockdown’ which have been published in a booklet.
The initiative, which was organised by Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI), invited children and young people to write a letter or draw a picture about their time during lockdown and all the entries have been made into a booklet which is available to download from the charity’s website.
Ellen Finlay, Policy Officer from Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI) said: “We are delighted with the response to our ‘Letters of Lockdown’ project and would like to thank every child and young person who took the time to create their entry. The emotive booklet is a collection of drawings, poems and letters which highlight the impacts of this global pandemic including the loss of connection, the impact on emotional health and wellbeing, and social exclusion and isolation.
Children and young people have shown incredible resilience, but even the most resilient children will need extra support as we move forward. Listening and reading children’s experiences and including them in decision making must be a key part of the government’s response so that we can recover and rebuild better communities.”
Ibe Seasy, Ambassador of Children in Northern Ireland said: “It was a privilege to be part of the ‘Letters of Lockdown’ campaign. Not being able to see grandparents, missing friends in school and not being able to go places they enjoy has been incredibly tough for children and young people. In text and illustration, they have brilliantly depicted what life has been like during this time from their own point of view in a humorous but also serious way. Some used diary accounts or a poem and some just pointed out the difficulties for them and their family living through lockdown. Well done to all children involved in this project. Just like myself, I know you’ll find it a very interesting read.”
Kerry McLean, Ambassador of Children in Northern Ireland said: “I was delighted to be asked to help select the winners of this wonderful project but I had no idea how moved I would be by the efforts of the children and young people. Their hard work resulted in some incredibly beautiful and poignant art and their letters and poems reduced me to both tears of sadness and laughter. At a time when my mental health felt a bit bruised by everything we were experiencing, this wonderful collection, showing the talent and resilience of our children, made my heart swell and filled me with joy.”
To download the ‘Letters of Lockdown’ booklet, go to www.cinicommunityhub.org