Facing the coronavirus from inside the Center: Eric’s story

At the Center, Fred and Yvette act not only as counselors to the kids, but as guides in their lives. That is why the kids at the Center often refer to them as Teacher. One of those kids is Eric. Eric is one of four kids who live at the Center, and who have stayed there throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Twice a week, Fred is checking in on the kids at the Center. When asked to see how Eric was doing, this was his story.

“Ah teacher, it is so boring for us. We don’t get to see our fellow friends from the Center to have fun and play football together. We are not going outside of the fence and we are afraid of this virus and how it has threatened people and weakened everything in our country and the world.

In order to respect the 2 meter social distancing rule, we are not allowed to play together. I feel insecure and we don’t know when this will end.

How much longer will this continue?

What will happen to us?

Will we continue to have food?

What about the kids in our community who are not with us?

Maybe after the coronavirus, I won’t see my friends. I often worry about what is happening to them.

Teacher, will we be able to take our final exam in primary 6? Or we will redo this year? It is not certain or clear. I do fear that I will have to repeat this year. The coronavirus has made me feel uncertain about tommorow.

Alone in the garden, I try to revise my class notes and read but my attention is limited. I just want to hear about the solutions for the virus.

My afternoons in the Center are very hard. My days are long since I cannot play with the others. Dieudonne [the caregiver and housekeeper at the Center] reminds us to keep our distance and we fear getting too close to each other.

Nothing is making sense, and I play alone.”