A story that aims to help children understand and come to terms with Covid-19 has been translated into Welsh by staff at the School of Welsh at Cardiff University.
The book is called “ My Hero is You, How kids can fight Covid-19! ” and is aimed at children aged six to 11. By means of a magical creature called Ario, it explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions they may have experienced.
The initial story was produced through a collaboration of more than 50 organisations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children.
It has been translated into more than 90 languages , with staff at the University’s School of Welsh taking on the task for Welsh-speaking children.
Dr Dylan Foster Evans said: “Children have faced a huge amount of pressure over the past few weeks as they try to adjust to a radically different way of life. Literature is a powerful tool that helps us discuss many challenging issues and it is important that everyone is given the opportunity to do this in their own language. We hope that our translation has helped support Welsh-speaking children and parents as they try to make sense of the pandemic together.”
During the early stages of the project, more than 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world shared how they were coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. These accounts helped script writer and illustrator Helen Patuck formulate the story.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation said: “Previous humanitarian emergencies have shown us how vital it is to address the fears and anxiety of young people when life as they know it gets turned upside down. We hope that this beautifully-illustrated book, which takes children on a journey across time zones and continents, will help them to understand what they can do to stay positive and keep safe during the coronavirus outbreak.”
The School is committed to the development of language, society and identity in contemporary Wales through teaching and research of the highest standard.