UNICEF partners with NABU to teach Pacific children how to stay safe in this pandemic
Suva, Fiji, 8 October 2020 – Thousands of Pacific island children will now get an opportunity to learn more about COVID-19 and be Virus-Stopping Champions through a new partnership between UNICEF and NABU, a New York-based non-profit organization specializing in the distribution of children’s books.
Today, the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, together with UNICEF and NABU, launched the storybook, The Virus-Stopping Champion: The Pacific Islands Edition to support children during the global COVID-19 pandemic across the Pacific region.
“We are proud to be working together with Pacific Governments, development partners, and NABU to launch a COVID-19 children’s book specifically developed for children in this region,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett.
One of the greatest challenges currently facing children in the Pacific is understanding and coping with the changes brought by this pandemic while continuing to carry on with their daily lives.
The Virus-Stopping Champion features a child superhero who learns how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to help keep her community safe. This storybook provides a platform for parents and families to access accurate information and sensitive ways to talk to their children about the virus.
The storybook will enhance the knowledge as well as confidence that children need to protect themselves and their families during this global pandemic.
“The Virus-Stopping Champion book is a very creative way to engage our young children to be important messengers on COVID-19. The children would be able to educate parents, friends, neighbours, grandparents and basically anyone they talk to on effective prevention and proper hygiene practices,” said the Governor of Pohnpei State Government, Hon. Reed B. Oliver, who launched the Pacific Islands Edition of the book.
The Virus-Stopping Champion: The Pacific Islands Edition is an adaptation of the original NABU title, The Virus-Stopping Champion, produced by NABU in collaboration with UNICEF Pacific and with the support of the Government of Japan, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The books will be distributed throughout the Federated States of Micronesia with the support of the Micronesia Red Cross Society.
“We are seeing a lot of misinformation and confusion about the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NABU Executive Director, Tanyella Evans. “Crafted by health experts and illustrated by an artist from the Pacific Islands, this story provides valuable information for children everywhere and delivers a message of unity, love, and hope in these uncertain times.”
NABU is a New York-based non-profit organization, with a mission to solve the imbalance in children’s book creation and distribution, so all children can read and rise to their full potential. Through mother tongue book creation, tech innovation, and community engagement, NABU is tackling global illiteracy more efficiently at a scale never before achieved.
The Virus-Stopping Champion: The Pacific Islands Edition is written by Hilary Rogers and Illustrated by Duke Lawalevu.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.