Anna Cox writes about one of Viva’s added values: how our family approach enables cross-cultural learning and increases expertise – and ultimately change children’s situations for the better.
We’re really excited about how children’s lives are being changed by the work of our partner networks in local communities around the world – these stories are evidence that our approach is working.
What we probably don’t communicate about so much is how this fits into our global picture.
You will, I’m sure, know about the networks of churches and organisations working together across a city: this is our core vehicle for change.
And you may know that these networks connect as regional groups, meeting each year to support, share and learn together.
But something we don’t talk nearly enough about is how we bring these networks together across the world.
One of the things that most excites me about Viva’s work is how this global family enables networks in different countries and contexts to learn from each other, and to improve the impact they are having on children.
Reading messages on our ‘Viva Family’ WhatsApp group warms my heart – and it’s because they are a clear and true reflection of how, by connecting networks of churches and organisation around the world, we are increasing expertise and learning cross-culturally – something that many organisations struggle to do.
The Good Treatment Campaign was designed and implemented in Bolivia for many years, teaching children and adults how to treat children well. The results were huge and thousands of people each year hear messages about good treatment of children and pledge to uphold these values.
Viva realised how powerful this programme was and worked with the network in Bolivia to produce a guide so that our partner networks across the world could use the methodology to make people in their communities aware of harmful norms and practices.
As a result, in 2017, 19 networks across Latin America, Africa and Asia ran a Good Treatment Campaign! (And it is really working, as we’ll report shortly.)
You can read in the messages on the right how happy Gary, our Network Consultant in India, is about the success of their Good Treatment Campaign events in the networks he supports. He hopes this programme will contribute to their goal of creating safe cities for girls.
The transfer of learning is not one way only. The networks in India are working on solutions to the discrimination and inequality of girls in their country.
From their successes, networks in Latin America are increasingly aware of the need to support girls in their communities too – see the replies from Carmen, our Regional Network Consultant based in Costa Rica – and some programmes there are now being adapted to respond to this increased awareness.
The opportunities Viva creates for communities around the world to learn from each other is furthering our mission to do all we can to positively change children’s situations for the better – and that is why I am so thankful for the way we work at Viva.
Anna Cox is Viva’s Network Development Team Co-ordinator