Child Mental Health and Well-being in the Pandemic | Our New Storybook

Our new storybook, Unlocked! is about a group of friends whose lives are affected by a global pandemic. When they are asked to go into ‘lockdown’ their greatest problem is the boredom, sadness and worry they feel for themselves, their families and their friends.

Through a magical adventure, the children learn how to increase their feelings of well-being and resilience and how to help others do the same.

This storybook features characters from other Children for Health storybooks. It is aimed at children aged 9-14 and is for children of this age to read to younger children. In the back of the storybook there is an activity section with lots of questions and fun activities for teachers and older children to use.

Creating the book

The creation of this book was made possible by our in-house artist and author  husband and wife team – David and Liz Gifford who gave their time to work on it for free. The story was created by Liz with Clare Hanbury CEO and founder of Children for Health. The book benefitted from contributions by contributors working in Guam, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.  Our concerns have been how children are coping with the worry and the sadness of lockdown. A time when their families may be short on work and money, when their schools are closed and when they cannot spend time with their friends.

A great review

The Children for Health story, ´Unlocked´ is funny and interesting. Although it is a magical story it is linked to our reality where children are intrigued by the ubiquitous mobile phone.

Asking children to imagine a magical space within a mobile phone is captivating and even for an adult to read! The interaction between the parrots ZaZa and ZuZu and the tricks they play on the children fascinates the reader.

Underneath the fun and action are the serious themes of protecting and supporting our elderly people – the most vulnerable during this pandemic. There is also the focus on finding what children can control and do to help themselves.

Although the pandemic is such a terrifying period for everyone, especially for our elders and for the children this story addresses the way that children can free themselves and not feel that they are so locked into sadness and worry during these times.

Well done Children for Health!

Bibiche Sangwa
Education Consultant and Advisor of Multi-sectoral
Nutrition Programmes in Mozambique