“Almost 60 percent of children state that they feel stressed after being isolated from friends and peers during the lockdown period, while 41.6% of them declare that the experience of online learning during the lockdown was stressful,“- these were some of the findings of the study “Covid-19 and children: How a global pandemic is changing the lives of children in Albania and Kosovo” that Florida, an adolescent from the IMPACT Club group in Durres shared with the participants in the parliamentary session: The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on children”.
This meeting was organised online, under the lead of Mr. Gramoz Ruçi, Head of Parliament of Albania and in the same time Head of the group of members of parliament “Friends of Children”.
Three adolescents, Florida, Antigona and Ergisi from the “IMPACT Clubs” of World Vision Albania in Durrës, Kurbin and Kamëz, highlighted some of the key findings by providing an overview of the challenges that they are facing in their communities such as increased poverty, early marriage, increase in stress level as a consequence of lockdown and physical distancing, challenges in education and remote learning and increased physical and emotional violence against children during this period.
Representatives from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, The Ombudsman Office, The Commissioner of Protection from Discrimination, UNICEF, UN Permanent Resident in Albania, National Directors from World Vision in Albania and Save the Children were participating in this initiative.
During June- July 2020, World Vision in Albania and Kosovo conducted a survey to contribute to the report Act Now for Children, which displays how the global pandemic is changing the lives of children in Albania and Kosovo
In Albania this study involved 477 children and adolescents in the age group of 12-16 years old, out of which 269 girls and 208 boys. Florida, Antigona and Ergisi contributed to this report as well.
In the end of their speeches, the three adolescents provided specific recommendations toward policy makers, UN agencies, organisations and institutions present in the meeting. Key recommendations were provided on topics of ending physical and emotional violence against children, increasing opportunities for quality education for every child, decreasing levels of poverty, increasing services for mental health among adolescents. They also focused on ensuring more opportunities for children and youth to participate in decision making processes.