Shaiima* (12) is in grade three. He lives with his parents, three younger brothers and sister in a rural village in Ethiopia and participates in our emergency response programme.
How do you spend your day?
I attend school in the morning hours only because it is too hot here to have lessons in the afternoon. I wear a mask for protection. Science is my best subject. After school, I feed my father’s cows and then I play volleyball with my brother.
Which challenges are you currently facing?
I am afraid that Covid will infect children in my community because people here do not always follow prevention instructions. I also worry that our small farm does not produce much food. Now my father has to find work at a construction site so we can eat, but the money is not enough, and we do not have enough water. The water at the water point here comes once a week and what we fetch lasts three days only.
How does your family bond?
In the evening when we come together, my younger brother tells us funny stories and everyone laughs. He gets the fairy tales he shares from my grandparents. I also tell stories but my brother is better at it. It’s a good way to end a difficult day.
Who do you talk to when you are feeling discouraged?
My father and I are very close. He is the one I talk to when I am sad or disturbed by our home situation or life itself. I go to him because I am able to talk to him freely. I believe he is able to protect me.
Which is your future dream job?
When I grow up, I want to be a doctor to help sick people feel better again. I visited a hospital once and I saw the doctors in their white coats helping patients and that inspired me.
*Names changed to protect child's privacy