1. Phone Mentoring
Viva’s new Phone Mentoring programme is being set up in 16 of our partner networks. This phone mentoring programme is designed to ensure people have trustworthy information on COVID-19, reduce domestic violence, improve family relationships and improve home learning. It is useful in lockdown and also in supporting children and families through the transition from lockdown. In many places where schools remain closed, the programme can be used to help schools and churches to keep in contact with struggling families.
Our partner networks are currently training mentors and translating materials into local languages. We have now raised $13,000 towards covering the cost of phone calls and mentor honorariums which will enable us to reach 4,260 families benefitting approximately 8,500 children. We have also been in touch with 2 international NGOs who are planning to use the materials with their partners in the Middle East and Asia meaning these resources will be used to support even more children and families. If you know someone who could help provides funds for this programme to reach even more people, please get in touch and we can send our funding proposal.
2. Food Relief
You will read below that many of our partner networks are responding to community needs for food and other basic necessities. They are doing all they can with the resources they have, but all could be supporting more families if they had greater resources. Viva is seeking funding and donations so that we can financially support our partner networks to buy more food and necessities, so that more children and families will benefit from this vital support.
Please particularly pray for our partner network in Patna, India who has been given a contract from OXFAM to provide food relief to 1,700 families between now and mid-July.
3. Supporting Local Church Reopening
We are preparing to support churches as and when they are allowed to reopen so that they can do so safely and adapt well to changes. Our partner network in Costa Rica have already disseminated guidance to local churches there that have been given the go-ahead to re-open. Some of the requirements are expensive, so our Latin America team are seeking funding to support some churches. We are now translating the resources into English and will develop a tool so that guidance can be adapted to different concepts easily.
Possible new partner network: We are in conversations to establish a partner network in Egypt in partnership with Embrace the Middle East. The partner network will initially run QIS with local churches and organisations, take part in global programmes such as World Weekend of Prayer, Good Treatment Campaign and Christmas Parties whilst considering the focus of collective action it will take. Please do pray for the conversations and developments to support the team with a goal to launch in September 2020.
Updates from the UK
Zoom youth groups all going well with young people appreciating the safe space to hang out with each other and talk about things on their minds. Pray for wisdom how to end the year well, merging the 2 Find Your Fire groups (Y9 & Y10) in order to have capacity to try and recruit next year’s cohort.
Friday Refresh is providing a really safe space for adults (parents, youth workers etc.) to connect and share lockdown stresses etc. This week’s speaker comes from Kids Matter, a charity who encourage churches to run parenting courses for struggling & vulnerable families.
Prayer: Please pray for wisdom to know how much support to provide for young people & families over the summer.
Please pray specifically that we would be able to recruit 20 young people from 3 different schools to form a supportive and motivated ‘real life’ Find Your Fire group next year. Recruiting via Zoom will look & feel quite different from recruiting via trips to Hill End!
Please pray for God to continue to inspire all the Zoom youth groups and Friday Refresh, bringing life, energy, hope and refreshment.
Updates from Asia
Philippines – Work has been continuing in the Mindanao refugee camps – relief work and education around sanitation and hygiene. We continue to work in Antipolo and Dasmarinas with very vulnerable children at risk of online sexual exploitation. Fe is looking at continuing to develop great opportunities for us to do more in and around the family strengthening mentorship programme. We have just launched our family strengthening mentoring scheme which is initially being released to 1,000 families, 5,000+ family members – we should see results soon. Furthermore, the World Weekend of Prayer event went really well, over 80 different partners joined with us in the launch event, and then went out to their partner networks and used the programme in their churches to promote and pray for children.
Prayer: Please pray that as the partner network launches into the family mentoring programme, it is broadly received and becomes an opportunity to impact and support many other families who are at risk. As the Philippines is slowly coming out of lockdown pray for an economy that picks up quickly and that the partner network is able to support those most at risk through relief and development work.
Nepal – The partner network has been continuing to provide food parcels to 50 families who have been classified at risk by the Nepali government. It has also switched to relief packages in the province. Praise God we were able to get travel passes for the partner network which means that its relief work can continue in the province. We will also be expanding the relief work shortly in Kathmandu. To ensure those most at need can get a little support during this time. WWP was a fantastic success with lots of traction gained with many churches in Kathmandu taking part and highlighting the need for us to look after our children.
Prayer: Lockdown is still in force which means hundreds of thousands are unable to work. In Nepal abuse of children is very high and has spiked during Covid-19 with the lockdown conditions making many children unsafe in their homes. Pray against abuse, and pray that the partner network can gain access to families who really need our support. We will be launching our family mentoring scheme with 340 families shortly
Myanmar – Many of the partner network are sick and are dealing with scarcity of food. Prices have gone up and food for the orphanages is minimal at best at the moment. Our programme lead is also in quarantine with suspected Covid-19. We have just had finances in to provide food for the 500 children situated in orphanages. Let’s hope for a swift ability to reach out and support those most vulnerable at this time.
Prayer: Pray for provision of health and provision of essential foods. Ni Sat, our in country lead has been in quarantine this past two weeks, and has just been released. Pray for the struggle that each of our members is facing in terms of provision, and also for the many terribly effected by war and food scarcity.
Cambodia – XQuib has been doing a lot of promotion around hygiene and, once a week, is delivering food parcels to some 200 families. Remarkable that he is able to do so, given his lack of funding, but the partner network is coming together. Hope School, one of his partner network, has combined with a church and is providing relief packages to some 50 families in the area. WWP was a roaring success with most of the partner network finding ways to engage with their community.
Prayer: Pray for Siem Reap as most of its work has ceased because of a lack of tourism. This has led to spikes in violence in the home and a very real increased risk of trafficking of children.
Hong Kong – Reached out to 12 potential partners to introduce Viva HK child protection services. 3 organisations interested in further exploring partnership opportunity.
Prayer: Pray for God’s grace as we seek to find ways to support organisations who are dealing with increased levels of stress in young people as they exit the lockdown and are back interacting.
Patna has developed a partnership with OXFAM to deliver 1,700 relief packages. The World Weekend of Prayer was celebrated across 7 partner networks and beyond. The activities suggested in the WWP, like feet washing, could not be done because of social distancing. However, adults and children prayed using the WWP resources.
Prayer: Pray for partnership with Oxfam for distributing 1,700 relief packages in Patna.
Pray for right mentors to join the phone mentoring programme starting from 15 June onwards.
Updates from Africa
CRANE – Uganda
- The teaching team has successfully recorded lessons for children. These are now accessible to everyone on the CRANE (Children at Risk Action Network) YouTube channel. Parents and staff are being encouraged to utilise the platform.
- A mother and father that had particularly complex issues and eight children were reunited.
- The World Weekend of Prayer was successful. Staff, churches and the whole of the Church Of Uganda took part. Church of Uganda is continuing to pray for children throughout June using our resources.
- Preparations for the Day of the African Child on 16th June are happening
- 4 talk shows for TV & radio on different aspects of child safeguarding have been recorded and aired.
- More children were settled with families over the weekend.
- The audit for the year has started. These are tricky times for this, but pray it would go well.
Prayer: Please pray for a family that lost their mother to domestic violence, for justice to prevail.
Many other families need provision during this season.
Pray for Daniel, a child supported by CRANE, who has lost his foster parent and needs a new home.
Please continue to pray for the Media Manager, Chris. His aunt who helped raise him has stage 4 cancer and has been sent home. Please also pray for his mum at this difficult time.
Pray for the friends of another staff member, Gladys. A couple had decided to get married after many years. They left 2 children at home whilst going away to wed. On their way home they perished in a motor accident leaving behind the 2 young children. Pray for a home within the family and that the children would remain together and not be separated.
Pray for healing for a child who is going blind and needs an urgent operation on one of his eyes.
MCAN – Tanzania
- World weekend of prayer took place over the weekend and more members expected to participate over this coming weekend
- 2 new members joined the partner network after a network awareness campaign
- Translating family phone mentoring program resources (still in progress).
- Preparations for virtual training for 5 mentors expected to run the family mentoring program
Prayer: Pray for Tanzania –President just declared it is Corona free but that is not the case. People are still being infected and dying every day.
Pray particularly for children during this time, as they seem to be ignored.
Please pray for MCAN as they begin virtual trainings for 5 members that will be implementing the family mentoring program
VNZ – Zimbabwe
- 250 people supported with poultry are now picking some eggs while 160 people supported with gardening are at a point where they will be harvesting vegetables from their gardens.
- Took part in the World Weekend of Prayer – so far the partner network has received feedback from 61 members that participated. Confirmed statistics so far show that 5,490 individuals took part in the prayers (2,196 adults and 3,294 children). More expected in the coming weeks.
- New Life project –Organisations and churches are working towards the improvement of their systems even if they are operating from home.
- Access to Justice – Follow-ups on birth registrations with Case Care Workers (CCWs) was done. The registrar’s office is closed at the moment but this had given the CCWs an opportunity to follow up on acquired birth certificates.
- A meeting with the registrar was done and there is hope for mobile birth registrations to be done as soon as their offices are opened.
- Children are learning from home at different levels of participation due to difficulties in accessing online resources. VNZ will soon resource the centres with some equipment like printers and phones in order for them to coordinate learning of children from home.
- Covid cases in Zimbabwe are increasing. VNZ has continues to encourage and guide all her members on how to establish systems which will ensure child protection during the Covid period.
- Information is being disseminated though emails, WhatsApp, SMS messages as well as phone calls.
Prayer: VNZ will soon distribute some computers and cell phones to learning centres in order for children to effectively learn from home. We need prayers in order for us to get cooperation from the parents so that children will continue to learn.
Covid cases in Zimbabwe are increasing and we need prayers in order for our children, staff and partner network members to be safe during this period.
There is evidence of increased vulnerability to hunger and child abuse in our communities due to Covid and we need prayers in order for us to get provisions as well as activated structures in order for children to be safe
CONNECT – South Africa
- South Africa is easing down into level 3 of lock down, parents of children in Grades 12 and 7 are feeling a mix of emotions ranging from gratitude to fear. While it is a relief that the academic year may yet be salvaged, there are risks in sending children back to school as the pandemic is about to peak.
- For those who must remain at home, the struggle to cope continues. In homes where incomes have been cut and jobs lost, tensions are high especially when household debt is high and there are many mouths to feed. Times like these are more dangerous for children.
- Connect Network took part in commemorating the Child protection week with a special focus on creating awareness of abuse of children and individual responsibility to stop it.
- Connect also participated in the World Weekend of Prayer for children at risk.
Prayer: Pray for Virtual Prayer breakfast scheduled for 24th June.
Pray for Connect Network as it continues to build safety nets in communities to ensure children in South Africa thrive and reach their potential even amidst this pandemic.
Pray for good collaborations with their member organisations in the communities they work.
Pray for families still struggling to make ends meet in this time – especially those that are jobless in this period.
Pray for safe homes and protection of all children.
SCAR – Zambia
- Zambia continues to report new cases but the recovery rate is also good. So far, there have been 10 Corona related deaths. As they adjust to the new normal, the government is using a phased approach especially in the education sector.
- Primary and secondary schools have opened but with only examination pupils attending. There has been apprehension especially from parents who are wondering how safe their children will be.
- Government is providing free masks and handwashing soaps but the media still reports about some pupils being turned away for not wearing masks.
- Universities have also been reopened for final year students.
- Churches have been allowed to resume but need to follow health guidelines and get clearance from authorities.
Prayer: Some people in Zambia do not believe that there is corona; others are starting to question if it really exists considering how people are behaving and there is a spike in infections still seen as predicted.
Pray for the many children who are not accessing the learning platforms online or even on TV because of costs involved.
Please pray for children especially those not able to access learning platforms, that this period will not have a negative impact on their lives and that government and other stakeholders will look into their plight.
Pray for Susan the new team member.
SCAR is planning a detailed mapping of Lusaka – plans so far are being frustrated by the COVID situation.
Thank God for the Funding from World Vision Zambia to do 30 mins at peak hour for a month.
Updates from Latin America:
Summary of the monthly report of Latin-American team
- Viva’s associated work with Enlace (Link), Tearfund, Convoy of Hope and Life Church (USA), It has been coordinating in some meetings between our regional organisations and already include of the partner network coordinators, especially the coordinators of El Salvador. We are coordinating now a collective event for raise the funds for this project. The event will have place on June 30th. We expect to raise $1.3 million for beneficiaries with food and hygiene items for 1500 families in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
- The Phone Mentoring Program has started in three countries: México, Costa Rica and Paraguay. The coordinators’ partner networks are working with their teams with the action plan for this program. There are also other countries that are interested in the phone monitoring program including Guatemala, Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador and others.
- World Weekend of Prayer:
- All the partner networks have participated with many churches and families in their homes
- Now the partner networks are completing the report of the WWP.
- The partner networks spread our posts and their own posts about the WWP with a great impact. Their also replicated the group photo and the WWP song in Spanish version.
- More than 15 online live broadcasts went out during the weekend, in Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador, Argentina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guatemala, Brazil, plus others
- We have worked on an online form for the same children and adolescents to complete with their prayer requests. We have put this together and since the Thursday before WWP we prayed for the prayer requests for the same children and adolescents. This was a beautiful and exciting.
- Social media promotion: https://www.facebook.com/FSMOViva/
- We have a children’s campaign #estopasará, and have produced videos and pictures along with the children. During this month we are going to increase the posts as a continuation of WWP.
Prayer: For children who are most vulnerable in these times of pandemic and confinement in homes.
For children who are experiencing violence in their homes.
For children and adolescents who feel overwhelmed. Like for parents who feel the same.
For families who need food.
For parents’ health, since children are very concerned about their parents and grandparents.
Due to the situation in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, because in addition to the pandemic, they were experiencing a natural disaster due to the tropical storm that seriously affected these countries.
To make the mentoring call program a success and a blessing for children and adolescents, and also for partner networks and churches.
- Took part in the World Weekend of Prayer with a live stream and many people are writing in and contributing through comments
- Revised Early Encounter Programme to work during lockdown with some funds reallocated for emergency support, offering food assistance to struggling families linked to the integral care centres
- Considering running Viva’s phone mentoring programme
Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers for Viva, we are so grateful. As Viva works by leveraging the resources and expertise of local churches and organisations, our model results in a high return on investment. We can do this through your support and prayers, enabling Viva to change more children’s lives, more effectively.