Updates from our partner networks – 13 July 2020

Global Updates

1. Phone Mentoring

Viva’s new Phone Mentoring programme is being set up in 24 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 over 10,000 families benefitting approximately 10,000 children. We have also trained partners from Embrace the Middle East who will use the programme to support children in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Israel and Palestine. The materials have also been promoted by End Violence through their newsletter and materials now freely available online.

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 have been given a contract from OXFAM to provide food relief to 2,000 families.

Launched new guide to support churches that are preparing to re-open after lockdown. Our partner network in Costa Rica have already disseminated guidance to local churches there that have been given the go-ahead to re-open and we have translated the tool into English for those in other parts of the world to use.

Updates from the UK

The ‘merged’ 2 Find Your Fire cohorts has worked really well as a new group. We’re doing the last merged FYF this week (14th) but are then getting them back together for a summer Zoom social on 28th July.

The other youth groups are also wrapping up for the summer this week but we’re holding an online festival with them in the last 2 weeks of August. The idea is for the young people to use Instagram to create a scrapbook celebrating the simple stuff in their summers: a book review, a photo of their muddy trainers after a good walk, a photo and the recipe for that epic new snack they’ve just created. We’d really like the focus to be the simple, everyday joys of the summer holiday.

We hosted a really interesting and useful Zoom call on 1st July with some local churches and our LCSS friends from the County Council to explore: what people have been doing to support parents of 0-5s, to pool ideas of what’s been working and to look forward & think together about what might work over the summer and on into next term. On the back of this we have put together some practical Doorsteps Top Tips for toddler groups.

Prayer: Praise God for really positive ‘merged’ Find Your Fire sessions and the way the Y9s have slotted into the supportive community the Y10s have created. Do pray for the summer social.

Please continue to pray for recruitment of next year’s Find Your Fire cohort. Although 3 schools (Cheney, Spires, St Greg’s) were really excited to promote FYF, this hasn’t resulted in permission slips coming in from parents. We’ll need to scoop the new Y9s up from scratch in the autumn so please pray the right young people end up on the project.

Praise God for all the online youth groups – FYF, Book Clubs & TBK – and pray for a good summer break for all the young people, their families and the youth work team. Please pray too for the Doorsteps Instagram Book Festival at the end of August.

Please pray for the Doorsteps Top Tips for toddler groups to be well received and that it would help group leaders consider ways of reconnecting with the families who used to come to their Stay & Plays before lockdown. Pray particularly that any such family who is really struggling would be contacted and supported.

Finally, please pray for restorative summer breaks for both Hannah (1st 2 weeks of August) and Charlotte (last 2 weeks of July).

Updates from Asia

Philippines – Plan to train over 8,000 children and families through the phone mentoring programme, translation has now been completed. Using numerous different church groups to increase reach.   

Prayer:  Please pray for the successful implementation of the phone mentoring programme, and for ongoing discussions with government to use the scheme much more widely.

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. The partner network is launching the phone mentoring programme with 300 + families.

Prayer: The situation with abuse of children in Nepal has seen a significant spike during the Covid times, please be praying that the partner network would be able to respond and find innovative ways to tackle some of the massive problems around violence that exists in the country.           

Myanmar – Good News, our in country director Ni Sat is now out of quarantine with very few ill effects from Covid. The partner network is still engaging in food relief for refugees from Rakhine state and also supporting the orphans who are most vulnerable during this time. We will be starting a major relief work for the orphanages who are suffering from food scarcity.

Prayer:  Pray that funding and relief work would have a significant impact on the various groups it is supporting. That they would know God’s love in action.

Cambodia – The partner network have begun the phone calls as part of the mentoring programme, They also continue to provide food relief and are completing a situational mapping analysis of the situation in order to know best ways to respond to emerging needs of children.

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. Pray for favour as the partner network is meeting with key stakeholders in government to discuss the situation children are facing.

Hong Kong – The focus of June was to keep reaching out to potential partners and secure partnership. It was confirmed that Viva HK is going to provide child safeguarding workshop to staff of CEDAR Fund, and students of Victoria Shanghai Academy. A meeting to explore partnership with Kowloon International Baptist Church will take place in early July. As we have also now gone back into lockdown to curb the third wave of COVID, please pray for good opportunities to share the work with key supporters, and for them to answer the call to help continue to fund the work around the world. Pray also for our annual dinner, it is currently scheduled for October, but we are unsure whether any gathering will be able to take place.  Pray we can think innovatively about ways to reach our supporters in spite of the challenges.

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 this is a mentally draining situation to be in.

Updates from India

India Asha Forum, Bengaluru

Asha Forum has signed agreements with 5 ministry partners. The partner network has commissioned 10 mentors after TOT and follow up training. The training to the families has started. Bengaluru partner network in partnership with 2 ministries have started Flourish Mentoring Program for 27 adolescent girls.

Prayer: Prayer is solicited for the continuity of both the program as the Covid cases are on the rise in the city of Bengaluru.

Viva Delhi Partner Network

Viva Delhi partner network has come into agreement with 4 ministries on phone mentoring program and trained and commissioned 7 mentors.

Prayer: Prayer is requested for all the partners and mentors of the phone mentoring program and also for the Delhi Coordination team so that the program will be a success.

Please pray for their upcoming child Protection Training Programs with some institutions. 

Shine Partner Network Hyderabad

Agreements have been signed with 4 ministries.
8 mentors have been trained in 4 training programs. Conducted medical camp and awareness program on Covid In partnership with Lions Club.

Prayer: Please pray for Vincent the Shine Network Coordinator as he is cervical spondylitis causing severe pain in neck and giddiness.

Covid cases in Hyderabad are rising tremendously, please pray for the safety of people.

Viva Shillong Partner Network

Partner network signed agreements with 6 ministries for the phone mentoring program.
17 mentors have been trained and commissioned.
District Child Protection Officer, Shillong District will be inaugurating the Phone Mentoring Program on 16th of July, which is a matter of joy because his participation means that our program is visible to authorities.

Prayer: Wanz, the Partner network coordinator of Viva Shillong Network, seeks prayer for their inauguration of Phone mentoring program. As the number of Covid Cases are rising, lock down can be re-imposed. If that happens then they will not be able to do the launching of the program. 

Viva Children at Risk Partner Network, Patna

Partner network has signed agreements with 6 ministries for Phone Mentoring Program.
18 mentors have been trained and commissioned in 4 training programs.
Survey and preparation of master role for dry ration distribution to 2133 poor and under privileged families have been completed.
Survey to identify 202 families of migrant labourers for financial assistance of INR 5000 for each family has been completed.

Prayer: Pray for the safety of the partner network Coordination Team as they go out to distribute the relief.
Pray that no member of the team is infected.
Please pray that the team members will not face any kind of violence or attack (last year’s flood relief the team was stoned)
Due to the increased cases of Corona, lockdown has been re-imposed in the entire district till 16th of July. Pray that this lockdown will not be extended because the relief distribution will be delayed and the beneficiary families will suffer for a longer period.
One proposed beneficiary ‘Kanti Devi’ who had lost her job due to lockdown, committed suicide. Please pray for her two very young children that God will arrange for their proper care.

Johar Children at Risk Partner Network, Ranchi

Ranchi partner network has signed agreements with 9 partners.
They have trained 10 mentors in 2 training programs.

Prayer: Pray for the city of Ranchi which has become a hot spot of Corona cases.

Updates from Africa

CRANE – Uganda

  • QIS webinars have continued to take place every Tuesday
  • Teachers trained how to make individual Education plans (IEPS) for their learners
  • I can journal distribution 
  • The teaching team recorded 43 audio stories for GEC learners and these are aimed at improving learners’ literacy
  • 4 street connected boys reunited with their families 
  • Family of 3 i.e. mother and her two sons resettled in Kabale
  • 11 victims of sexual abuse helped to access medical care and recuperation

Prayer: There is increasing anxiety among children because they are not in school; we pray they are patient and use available resources to learn.

Protection and provision for the families in the program; wisdom and special advice to those trying to change livelihoods or set up new business ventures, there are still children on the street, new ones joining because of harsh environments at home (increase in domestic violence).

Pray for the safety of children during the lock down and wisdom for caregivers/parents on how to productively engage the children. Some people are struggling to find something to eat because they have lost their jobs and other sources of livelihood.

Let’s continue to pray for wisdom and guidance for our leaders as they support families and children through this crisis

MCAN –  Tanzania

  • Online training for the phone mentoring program kicked off last week with 4 Mentors
  • Translated VPMP resources to Swahili (ongoing)
  • Translated of Kobo information for VPMP (ongoing)

Prayer: Pray for the ongoing training of family mentors that started last week.

Schools in Tanzania are now open. Pray for the safety of all children and families

VNZ – Zimbabwe

  • Family mentoring program (ongoing)

Prayer: Pray for VNZ’s partnership with parliamentarians as they discuss issues around child protection and birth registration. Pray for cooperation

Pray for the family and mentorship program that started last week.

Pray for commitment and fruitful meetings

Covid cases in Zimbabwe are increasing. Please pray for the safety of everyone i.e. Children, staff, families

CONNECT – South Africa

  • Just add to Connect that QIS Child Protection will run this month, and that Michelle Kempster, a former staff member, is back on staff to run QIS

Prayer: Pray for the QIS team as they begin preparations for their QIS Child Protection online training. Also, pray that many will be reached through the QIS WhatsApp group

Pray for Connect’ s ‘Reduce abuse campaign’ mainly aimed at protecting Children and women against all kinds of abuse during Covid

Updates from Latin America:

Summary of the monthly report of Latin-American team

  • Mapping needs of children to shape next response
  • Supporting partner networks to improve scores in Viva’s sustainability benchmark
  • More partner networks beginning to run the phone mentoring programme
  • Working with the Evangelical Alliance on supporting churches to re-open their buildings
  • Tools: trying to focus on education on the radio and home schooling
  • Fundraising initiatives including through USA Life Church and others for emergency response including food relief and health supplies

Prayer: Pray for the situation of increasing contagion and death by COVID in Guatemala and Honduras, every day more than 100 infected per day and an average of 30 people per day

Pray for Brazil, every day more than 100 people die from COVID.

Pray for our brothers Samuel and Elisa, coordinators of Red Viva El Salvador, who because of their age already feel pain in the body. They continue to lead the partner network processes in El Salvador, and are exposed to possible contagion.

Pray for Arely, one of the leaders of Honduras who has had a very bad time with COVID, is now beginning her recovery, but she is still in a delicate state. Her family has also become infected and her girl who felt the symptoms the most also begins her recovery.

Pray for the medical professionals who give their lives to save others and today some of them are dying every day. We also pray for their families

Pray for the partner network in Brazil, who for two months have been working on a virtual platform to protect against violence and abuse towards children and this week want to launch their partner networks and their campaign to open this virtual space.

Pray for each of the partner network coordinators and their families. May everyone be receiving God’s blessing and protection for their lives and families

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.