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Our most vulnerable children risk becoming Generation Lost unless needs are prioritised

Declan Keenan


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Pipe-dream: Many children living in cramped and overcrowded conditions can only dream of a kitchen for baking or a garden for outdoor activities during lockdown

Pipe-dream: Many children living in cramped and overcrowded conditions can only dream of a kitchen for baking or a garden for outdoor activities during lockdown

Pipe-dream: Many children living in cramped and overcrowded conditions can only dream of a kitchen for baking or a garden for outdoor activities during lockdown

Our most vulnerable young people have paid one of the biggest prices for Covid-19, yet they remain largely under the radar for vital emergency and recovery support. Almost overnight in mid-March, our schools were forced to close their doors. We know now that was the start of an almost complete lockdown, which, three months later, we are only beginning to emerge from.

While much of the mainstream conversation immediately went to the challenges of homeschooling and Zoom classes and keeping children entertained with baking and bird watching, there was little or no focus on the fact that with school shutdown also came the closure of hundreds of support and critical community-based services like our Just Ask (After School Klub) in Dublin's north-west inner city.

There was little substantive focus on the kids who had no computer to join in the school lessons, or had no garden or no kitchen to do the baking. Many of the children around here in Dominic Street are living in cramped and over-crowded apartments and flats. Private gardens are a pipe-dream. Others are in family hubs and many are living in hotel rooms, homeless with their families and locked down in a single room in a now deserted hotel.