Liberia: VP Howard-Taylor simplifies COVID 19 Awareness: Ases Storytelling to Sensitize Children


MONROVIA – The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia Chief Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor has been committed to creating awareness in the fight against COVID 19. In her recent awareness campaign, Madam Vice President used the book title ” The Unwelcome Stranger” to explain to children about COVID 19 and its impacts on our families. The Unwelcome Stranger was written by three enterprising young people namely Andrews, Fernandez and Diana.

The book historisizes the discovery of COVID 19 and how it has created isolation of families; affecting social life and interactions. Madam Howard-Taylor explained that the book narrates the state of mind of children as they observe their parents cope with the emergence and impact of COVID 19. It recalls that children are often innocent and concern about the sudden change in the routines at home, the closure of schools and mosques, the staying at home, constant washing of hands and the rationing of meals.

The change in the routines often create questions in the mind of children and may cause trauma. According to the Vice President, the unwelcome stranger is not a person or an animal; it is a thing (Virus) which was never expected or welcomed by human beings. She asserted in her narrative to the children that the unwelcome stranger has been around before and will continue to be around. She was quick to point out that the current unwelcome stranger (COVID 19) is invisible and unknown; it comes with fear, showing symptoms as flu but spread very quickly.

Madam Vice President emphasized that the book highlights social distancing and washing of hands as key preventive measures against the unwelcome stranger (COVID 19). She encouraged children to continue learning and reading other materials while at home as we fight against this global pandemic. Vice President Howard-Taylor has an unquestionable passion for empowering children which led to her establishment of the Jewel Starfish Foundation.

The foundation currently caters to more than 1000 children and has existed for more than 20 years. COVID 19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December, 2019. Since its discovery, the virus has affected more than 3.38 million people from 187countries and territories, causing more than 239,000 deaths.