Child plays with doll during COVID-19
LATIN AMERICA – September 23 2020

Young people give back during COVID-19

SOS Children’s Villages across Latin America and the Caribbean highlight the ways that young people are giving back to their community during COVID-19.

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated many of the pre-existing inequalities that young people in Latin America and the Caribbean already have to deal with—especially those who have lost or are at risk of losing the care of their families. Despite these hardships, their resilience is now making them agents of change who are capable of leading stories, actions and initiatives to inspire and support others in the face of the current health, social, emotional and economic emergency.

Young people are putting their energy into various actions and communication materials to celebrate Youth Month, which is held in August. To support them, SOS Children’s Villages has facilitated processes to amplify their voices and publicize their leading roles, drawing on their own experiences, thoughts and backgrounds.

"My Voice During Coronavirus" Campaign

SOS INFLUENCERS, refers to the regional participatory campaign, “My voice during coronavirus” (#MiVozSOS), which is reflected through fresh, attractive and inspiring videos. The videos created by young people provide simple information about COVID-19, the impact the pandemic is having on their lives and how they are promoting self-care, self-protection and care for others during the crisis. Check out their web page and YouTube channel.

"Your Reality From Inside Your Homes in Times of COVID-19" Exhibit

The Regional Photography Competition, “Your reality from inside your home in times of COVID-19,” aims to encourage current and former SOS Children's Villages program participants between the ages of 15 and 25 to capture their everyday experiences through pictures in the context of the COVID-19 health emergency, acknowledging that this as a unique time in their lives.​ The best photographs will be presented in a virtual exhibition.

"SOS Youth and Coronavirus" Webinar

A webinar entitled "SOS Youth and Coronavirus" is a pioneering experience in the region. In partnership with adolescents and young people in our programs, SOS Children's Villages aims to highlight their central role in both guiding and organizing the activities planned for this celebration in response to COVID-19. Through their powerful voices, messages, proposals and actions, young people are responding to the crisis with solidarity and in creative, innovative ways.

Young participants of SOS Children’s Villages programs in Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico will lead this creative space. Through their messages, reflections, initiatives and experiences, they are inspiring and teaching us how to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown in positive ways. Click here to register.

SOS Children’s Villages Latin America and the Caribbean acknowledge that young people are being seriously affected by the health, social, emotional and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are calling upon States and key actors to redouble their efforts to provide greater training opportunities for young people, access to employment and a smoother transition to independence in a supported and progressive manner.

According to International Labor Organization data, before the COVID-19 pandemic, youth unemployment for 2020 was 18% and the informal employment rate was 62.4% (10% higher than for adults), while the youth unemployment rate rose to 32.2% in April 2020. UNESCO, meanwhile, estimates that 177 million children and young people have stopped attending their educational establishments and, with education moving online, many of them are at a disadvantage as they do not have devices or internet to access their right to education.

At SOS Children’s Villages, we recognize that the current health emergency has particularly impacted adolescents and young people in the different dimensions of their lives: educational, social, emotional, health, work and recreational. Therefore, we are committed to strengthening young people's leadership roles in response to COVID-19, aware that through their messages, opinions, proposals and actions they are contributing to an appropriate and solidarity-based response in their communities.

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