“I am scared of the Angry Influenza”: Nassir’s Story

Monday 27 April 2020

Nassir Hassan, 12, is a Fourth grade student at Idora Full Cycle Primary School in Idora Village, Erer District of Somali region, Ethiopia. 

Nassir told how he feels about the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on his life. 

 “Our teacher Ahmed told us that the coronavirus, what we call Dury Arorey here (which means the angry influenza in the Somali language) is a tiny organism that we cannot see with our eyes. He also told us it spreads when sick people cough and sneeze near others. People who are sick have symptoms like cough, fever and have trouble breathing,  

I wish I could go to school, but our school is closed and I feel sad and upset that I cannot go to school. I miss my friends in school. When we were in school, we used to play different games with my friends. I often think of them. Before the Coronavirus, the school fed us meals each school day, but now the school feeding program has stopped. I hope it will start again soon. 

Our teacher also taught us how to protect others and ourselves from the Coronavirus. Some of the things we learned are to wash our hands with soap and water, wave to people instead of shaking hands and we have to stay at least one meter away from people. We know we have to wash our hands but water is very scarce here. Therefore, it is very difficult for us to get enough water and soap to wash our hands and protect ourselves from the virus. 

I am scared of the Dury Arorey . I worry the virus could spread here in our village and hurt many people I know. 

Schools are closed but the mobile reading camp still comes to our village once a week.  The librarian lends us storybooks that we can take home to read. I borrow different storybooks from the reading camp. I find it fun reading stories to my family at home. It also helps me improve my reading skills

On behalf of the children in my village, I would like to say please bring us clean water and soaps so we keep clean and protect ourselves from this virus

I wish the virus would just go away so school opens again. I want to learn and become an engineer someday, support my family. 


What Save the Children is doing 

Save the Children, through the NORAD funded Building Resilience of Education System project in Somali region, has established mobile reading camps in 33 remote rural villages in Somali Region and provided them with more than 39,000 supplementary reading books with 16 different titles. 

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, these mobile reading camps continue to create opportunities for children like Nassir to access books so they keep reading and learning while school is closed.