The Children Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) is on a drive to keep their peers engaged during the current coronavirous infectious disease-19 (Covid-19), which has affected their lives, education and holidays.
A recent snap survey revealed that most children miss schooling, going for holidays and visiting friends.
Some have even resorted to be glued to watching cartoons on television and playing games. However, they have found this monotonous.
“My favourite game is playing G.I. Joe on PlayStation and watching cartoons. Now they are boring because I have even memorised every word of my favourite cartoons. Sometimes they are repeated every day,” says Panashe Chiku from Blakiston Primary School, Harare.
However, every year, the month of May is a special month for Chipawo children as they look forward to activities and tours during the Chipawo term.
Chipawo manager, Chipo Basopo, says all plans have been shelved because of the coronavirus.
“All we had scheduled is not possible because of Covid-19. We were scheduled to travel to the USA, Germany and Demark, but because of travelling restrictions it is not happening.
“So we then decided, why not be creative and start our own Chipawo sessions at home,” says Basopo.
Each Chipawo member at home has been tasked to present on social media.
“Right now our stage is social media. After successfully hosting the Stephen Chipfunyise Concert on social media recently, we have noticed that is the way to go.”
They have established a Chipawo group where they have posted three tasks for children and parents or any guardian at home.
“So this one is a campaign of hope to get to see if the children have now understood what it is we have as the new normal. It’s running as a session but through the WhatsApp platform. We record and then send it to various platforms for feedback and then we redo certain parts until there is a great monologue,” she says.
The idea is to bring hope to everyone and especially to children since most content online is for adults. Children are doing it on their own giving them a feeling of being part of everything going on around them.
“It keeps their minds busy and getting more and more knowledge of Covid-19. We are all in this together. We have even encouraged other parents who wish to have their kids taking part in the sessions to contact us and we will support the child,” explains Basopo.