When Baby Yurie was born, Roger could not contain his excitement that he had finally become a father. He and his wife, Caren, ensure that Yurie’s learning and development are not compromised despite being challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. At two years old now, Yurie started learning her ABCs and 123s. They also allow her to watch educational videos online.
Siargao Island was one of the areas worst hit by Typhoon Odette in the Philippines. Roger and Caren's humble home in the town of Burgos was completely washed out, including Roger's equipment for welding which was their primary source of income.
“All of our belongings, including Yurie’s toys and learning materials, were washed away,” Roger recalls. While his priority is ensuring food on their plate, he acknowledges that Yurie’s development as a child should not be neglected.
Through the support of UNICEF, Save the Children Philippines provided learn-at-home kits to pre-school learners in Surigao del Norte. The kit contains educational materials such as storybooks, activity books, arts and crafts, and toys, which can be used for the continuity of learning after the typhoon. The organization has reached more than 600 to date.
“The materials are very helpful,” Caren shared. “Yurie started learning about colors and shapes.”
“She now prefers playing with her actual toys over watching videos,” Roger added. “We are also happy seeing her share her toys with her playmates.”
Roger spends at least an hour a day after work playing and learning with Yurie. He acknowledges early childhood care and development as a key factor in preparing Yurie for schooling in the future. He calls on the duty-bearers to provide safe spaces for children in their community, such as playgrounds and classrooms, where they can learn and develop by interacting with their fellow children.
They couple expresses their gratitude to everyone who continues to help families affected by the Typhoon like them. Roger and Caren’s greatest desire is to see Yurie finish her studies someday.