A new super heroes campaign aimed at empowering children through New Zealand’s latest COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown launches today from child rights organisation Save the Children.

Featuring nine-year-old Super Millie, the launch video presents five ways to navigate lockdown from a child’s perspective and speaks to the super powers in all children – creativity, inventiveness, decision making, knowledge and fun.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/gvmgP78bDB8?autoplay=0&modestbranding=1&rel=0

“Living through lockdown requires all of us to make significant changes in our lifestyles, and that includes our tamariki,” says Save the Children’s Advocacy and Research Director Jacqui Southey.

“Seeing our children as active participants, rather than passive recipients is important when it comes to recognising the capabilities our children can bring to this situation. Children need to be acknowledged for the crucial role they too are playing in our fight to eliminate this virus.

“Super Millie reminds us of the superpowers within our children to be creative, inventive and take the lead on the ways they want to navigate lockdown. Supporting our children to have a say on how they want to fill their days using what is available to them can help them to feel empowered or having some control of their situation.”

Alongside the video, Save the Children has created online learning resources to help support learning at home, including activities for preschoolers, who often struggle to make sense of the changing home environment of lockdown.    

Says Ms Southey: “The fun element is crucial for both adults and children, and it is delightful seeing the smile on children’s faces as they watch the video and want to be a superhero too. Supporting our children to have a say on how they want to fill their days using what is available to them can help them to feel empowered or having some control of their situation.   

“We know from prior COVID lockdowns, that not all of our children experience lockdown in the same way. Our environment contributes to our health and wellbeing and this is true for children and adults alike. Having space, resources and support is known to help us be more successful in navigating lockdown.” 

Ms Southey says that when COVID first hit, children were largely invisible in the nation’s response, with a focus on business, the economy, reduction of freedoms, how we would cope with the predicted large scale health needs of adults. 

“It was largely taken as a given that children would stay home and be mostly fine. However, our children are affected by lockdowns they make sacrifices, they have fears, talents that need to be nurtured and rights that need to be upheld.  

“Understanding our children’s rights is key if we are to respect and uphold their rights to be protected, provided for and to participate. This creates a framework for adults to consider, how our children are being protected, what do we need to provide for their needs, and how are we ensuring they too are participating and having their say on the issues that are important to them, including how we make it through lockdown.”