• Published Date: 28/07/2020
  • by: UNDP

Youths in a time of Corona Virus (Covid-19)

Surveying Youth Free-Time

It’s prevalent that people are encouraged to stay at home during COVID-19 . Additionally, many schools, public spaces and activity space are temporarily closed. These factors have made people, especially kids and youths, have so much time at home.

The UNICEF and its partners’ survey findings on Covid-19 Impacts to Youths showed that more than 50% of the respondents’ free time at home have increased to 5 hours more a day. Those who are below 10 were the group of people with the highest satisfaction regarding the  free-time they have gained while people aged 20 years to 24 years felt the least-satisfied with the too-much-free-time.

When it comes to activities, it is obvious that watching online video and movies, using social media and browsing internet were the top three activities for all genders, except for  below 10-year-old children whose main activity was watching TV.

When asked about  what they want to learn during their time staying at home, English language, school curriculums , and other skills such as art, music, cooking, writing were the top three interests consecutively.


Youth Social Innovation

          Apart from general activities, some youths have spent their time developing ideas and skills in social innovations that solve some problems or concerns during Covid-19.

Following are a couple of examples of youth social innovation.

  1. Coronavirus Re-Mix Space Impact game

Israel Smith, a 12 year-old boy in USA spent his time developing a video game reflecting the fast spreading coronavirus situation during COVID-19.

His game is simple. Basically, a player is required to control the avatar and shoot at the viruses running across the screen. He utilized his coding skill to modify the old-school arcade game Space Impact to the new version of coronavirus theme.

The game is user-friendly with a doodle-like style in designing background and characters.

Smith intended to make the game for his friends and other kids for the purpose of stress relief. He focused on the game objective — eliminating the virus so that they can better cope with fear. He wants the kids to feel relaxed even under the tough situation. Most importantly, he inserted some crucial facts in the game. Before the beginning of every turn, bubbles with informative text such as “Corona Virus spread from person to person” will pop up. One of the viruses also had the bubble shown “Where is your face mask?”.

Smith game may be quite straightforward but it is in comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s suggestion that children and teens may respond more strongly to the crisis.  In order to help them cope with the crisis, sharing information in a way they can relate to would be helpful.

The game is available at: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/384381919


  1. Grocercheck 

If it’s possible, many try to avoid putting themselves at risk but sometimes we just need to go out to get some essentials.

Just like a situation a high school student in Canada faced: Brian Chen was baking a loaf of bread and he just realized that he ran out of eggs. He was hesitant about getting them from a big superstore where he might have to queue up in a long line or from getting them from a local grocery located 5 blocks away, which would be the best option for him to keep proper social distancing. From that incident, he shared an idea with his high school friends. They quickly developed and came up with a website called https://grocercheck.ca/.

The website indicates location of grocery stores across the cities with the colored-bubbles, ranging from red to green, showing how busy each store is. The red bubble means very very busy while green means not busy at all. This website analyses real-time location data from Google server.

By checking the color of the bubble on the website, the users can make an informed decision whether to go grocery shopping right away, or should they wait for the color to change, or should they go to less crowded stores instead.

Currently, Grocer Check is available in some cities of Canada’s British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec and five cities of United States of America.







  • Published Date: 22/07/2020
  • by: UNDP

How Covid-19 affects Youth?


Covid-19, in some ways, is affecting everyone including children and youth.

The Children and youth’s  worriness have stemmed from different issues, from physical health, mental health, education challenges to economy regression.

UNICEF together with The Children and Youth Council of Thailand, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) surveyed 6,771 individuals from all 77 provinces from 28th March – 10th April ,which aimed  to understand how Covid-19 has affected this specific group of people and what are their concerns and needs.

This article will brief the survey findings and highlight some of their thoughts on the impact of pandemic that cause to their personal life.



8 out of 10 youths answered that they were worried about the economic status of their family members, since most of them still rely on their parents. This means that they are affected as well.

The financial stability also had something to do with education as they have to pay for university admission fees and tuition fees. Some youths opined that education should be cheaper, if not free, adding that the government should subsidize or provide more scholarships to the students.

From the economic aspect, some youths work part-time while studying to support themselves financially. Some of them worked in informal sectors. The government schemes to alleviate the affected employees; namely through social security schemes and through 5,000 THB handout package, seem to not cover this group of people. It is also found that 23 percent of respondents who work full-time and part-time indicated that they were unemployed due to the pandemic.

For those who just graduated, over 30% were seeking for jobs. The fact that many businesses have been shut down during the lockdown makes them worry about their own future.


Mental Health

What’s inevitable when it comes to Covid-19 is a worry. There were many issues bothering young people. 7 out of 10 revealed that life during lockdown has caused them stress, boredom, lack of motivation, and distress.

Some youth’s concerns were directly related to the pandemic. They were fearful whether they or their families would be infected as well as whether they would be able to access PPE due to the supply shortage and high prices.

Media and the government management also mattered. Some youths mentioned that they hoped the government revealed the information and data more transparently. Some explained that they were concerned about the uncertainty of government policies in dealing with the Covid-19 situation.

Regarding the media, the influx of information which sometimes hard to distinguish between truth and fake news cause them anxiety.

In a personal level, keeping oneself in a house due to the lockdown and not seeing anyone except family members while their activities were limited by space made them feel uncomfortable and distressful about staying at home.

The answers from the survey also showed that LGBTQI youths were worried about their gender identity. Four percent said they feel uncomfortable and pressured about staying at home as they are unable to express themselves in front of their family members. Additionally, some who have continuously taken hormones faced difficulties in getting the supplies.



For youth, education is considered as one of the biggest matters. As the schools continued postponing new semester dates, the students were worried about their educational plan, especially those who are about to change their educational institutions or those who plan to continue their education at a higher level such as from high schools to universities.

When it comes to online classrooms, though most agreed that classes shall be carried on even under the new form, some youths questioned about accessibility, efficiency, and readiness of the new normal.

Domestic Violence

The saying ‘Home is where the heart is’ may be true to some people but definitely not to all. Some find it hard to confront the situation occurring in the house as lockdown somehow forced them to stay together.

7 percent of the respondents addressed that they were concerned about domestic violence as there were conflicts among the parents.


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  • What are The Sustainable Development Goals?
  • UNDP and TSIP’s Principles Of Innovation
  • What are The Sustainable Development Goals?


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