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The coronavirus situation

Statement by Minister of Children and Families at Press Conference For Kids

Statement from Minister of Children and Families, Mr. Kjell Ingolf Ropstad at the governments Press Conference For Kids on april 15th.

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Hi everyone!

We’ve had a few very strange weeks since schools and preschool day care centres were closed and all free-time activities were cancelled.

To start with, you may have thought it was quite fun not to have to go to school, and to have less busy days.

But maybe after a while it has got a bit boring. A bit boring not to be able to meet up with your friends, to have to do schoolwork at home – and maybe it has been difficult not to be able to get so much help from your teacher. Or not to be able to go to handball training or marching band practice or do whatever it is you enjoy doing. 

But I must say that I am very impressed by how good you have been at washing your hands, keeping your distance from other people and not being with too many friends at the same time. If we can all keep this up in the time ahead, things will be able to get back to normal more quickly.  

I’m also glad to see all the kind things you are doing for each other at the moment. I have seen lots of lovely pictures of rainbows hanging on windows and doors, where it says that everything is going to be fine in the end. And you’re clearly finding many different ways of showing that you care about each other and are fond of each other.  

My job is to make sure that all children in Norway are OK. And for most of you, the last few weeks have just been a bit more boring than usual. But some children have had a really hard time, because there are things that worry or scare them or because things are difficult at home. 

Parents are supposed to look after children, and of course most of them do, but there are some who don’t manage to do this. That is why it is important that you all know that you can get help.

  • You can talk to your teacher even if your school is closed. And if you or your parents are having a hard time, you may be able to go to school anyway.
  • You can also talk to other adults you trust.
  • Or if you can’t think of anyone, you can ring 116 111 or chat with someone online on 116111.no. This is the emergency helpline for children and young people, and they are there to help you.

During the Easter break, lots of people have rung the emergency helpline. And I am very pleased that they were able to. Because talking to someone about something you are finding difficult can make things easier.

Things are a bit strange for all of us at the moment. So I’m very glad that so many people are using the time to do kind things for each other. We still need to keep in touch with each other, even if we can’t meet up like we could before – this will stop us from getting too lonely. 

And now I’m really looking forward to hearing all your questions, because I know that they’ll be good ones, even if they are often rather difficult to answer!

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