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 6,000 families benefitting approximately 15,000 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 and are in the process of working with BMS to support their partner in Bangladesh to run the programme.
Overall, people in 20 countries are using the programme.
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 2,300 families.
Updates from the UK
FYF Summer Social went well, it was small but very open and honest, with the young people sharing the things they’re missing this summer, and suggesting other Covid19 friendly activities to each other.
Hannah attended an online youth conference exploring the future of youth work in the UK a post-Covid19 world, followed by a Diocesan-run meeting around the future of Children’s, Youth and Families work. Helpful to pool ideas and hear other people’s thoughts and plans going forward.
Whilst in France, Charlotte attended the Oxfordshire Children & Young People’s Forum where there was a positive discussion about the Early Years gap in provision/support.
We are investing time in Mental Health & Wellbeing training and CPD reading over the summer, in preparation for schools returning in the autumn. A collaborative conversation has begun with the Diocese and the youth work network around this.
Prayer: Praise God for a positive FYF Summer Social!
Please pray for wisdom for the team as we seek to gather information and work out what the shape of youth work provision we should offer going forward is – Covid19 regulations will impact what we can do but the need for solid, positive youth work support will be great.
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.
Please pray too for the Doorsteps Instagram Book Festival at the end of August, that young people can be encouraged to celebrate their ‘holidays at home’.
Please pray for creative, collaborative shared wisdom among local Early Years providers as we seek to find ways to support parents with babies and/or toddlers; pray too that the Doorsteps Top Tips for toddler groups would be well received and 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 a restorative summer break for Hannah and her family (1st 2 weeks of August).
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. Pray for more funding to come in to meet the needs of families that are facing food scarcity.
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. Also pray that more funding would come in to ensure that we can meet the needs of those facing food scarcity.
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 partnerships. 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 and we have another opportunity to work with RTC, a church reaching out to children in Sham Shui Po. 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
Flourish training is taking place for adolescent girls.
Planning and discussion to start child protection workshop in collaboration with child Fund is being done.
Partner network has approached India Collaboration for funds, discussion is going on.
Phone mentoring program is smoothly going on. Partner network is trying to bring in more partners.
Prayer: Please pray for the ministries who are partnering with the partner network as they are facing acute resource crunch. Some of the leaders are struggling to get even one square meal a day.
Leaders who have to pay bank instalments are unable to do so, they fear that they will end up on streets.
Husband of Santa Sylvia, partner network Coordinator, has lost his job. She has sought prayer for him.
Please pray that the India Collaboration funding will come through.
Viva Delhi Partner Network
Phone mentoring program is going on well. Partner network is trying to add to the number of its program partners.
Partner network has conducted online Child Protection Training Program from 16th to 24th July for partners of Mercy Mission. A total of 117 people participated in the program. The participants included, Mission/ Church Directors, Project Managers, Pastors, Principals, teachers and in charge of children’s homes etc. Child Protection Policy & implementation of the Policy Training shall take place in the coming weeks.
Prayer: Please pray that the just concluded CP program will open new avenues for our online Child Protection Program.
Every fourth man in Delhi is said to be corona positive, please pray for our city and its people.
Shine Partner Network Hyderabad
Shine partner network is pursuing Phone Mentoring Program.
With the help of local churches and groups distributed relief to struggling families.
Prayer: Covid cases are increasing in the city manifold, making it difficult for the coordination team to go out. Please pray the Covid cases will come down and those infected will get healed.
Viva Shillong Partner Network
Last week Viva Shillong Partner network launched phone mentoring program in a big way in partnership with Reach Shillong Ministry and District Child Protection Unit of East Khasi Hills District. It is a major development because the phone mentoring program in Shillong will run with Government participation, that will give wider coverage as well as due recognition to this program.
Prayer: Pray for the success of the Phone Mentoring Program.
Viva Children at Risk Partner Network, Patna
After two months of survey and other preparation, the partner network has started distributing dry ration to the 2,300 families.
Cash transfers of INR 5000 ($72) for 202 poor and needy families have been done. A total of $14,544 has been transferred.
Phone mentoring program is on and is picking up pace. Children and families being mentored are experiences great changes in their outlook and way of living.
Prayer: Bihar State is having heavy and continuous rains. Floods have inundated many districts resulting in loss of lives and properties. Pray that God will save the population from further floods in a state where the Corona virus is spreading very fast. Health system has completely failed to respond to the situation.
Johar Children at Risk Partner Network, Ranchi
Phone mentoring program is picking up.
Partner network is promoting prayer for children and families.
Prayer: Pray for Phone Mentoring program success.
Please pray for Angelina wife of partner network Coordinator, Premchand Hembrum, who is required to undergo surgery for gall stones. Hospitals are very selective in admitting patients due to Corona. Please pray that the arrangement of hospital facility and also for God’s provision towards the cost of the surgery.
Updates from Africa
CRANE – Uganda
- CRANE is working in partnership with the National Curriculum Development Centre to develop radio lessons for learners
- Mentors have continued to offer support to both families and learners through the phone mentoring program
- QIS child wellbeing webinars with members every Tuesday afternoon
- 2 meetings with heads of schools held
Prayer: Pray for Children and adults that are fatigued with staying home.
Uganda confirmed its first Covid related death today. Please pray for the safety of families and for people to take the SOPs seriously.
Let’s continue to pray for wisdom and guidance for our leaders as they support families and children through this crisis
MCAN – Tanzania
- 30 families reached through the phone-mentoring program
- MCAN has continued to share QIS Child wellbeing standards through various platforms e.g. WhatsApp groups
Prayer: Pray for unity and cooperation among working groups
Pray for our mentors as they carry out the phone-mentoring program. Pray specifically that the program will impact all families being reached
Pray for fundraising team that God gives them ability to see and seek for local and international fundraising for sustainability of our partner network
VNZ – Zimbabwe
- The partner network continues to support learners from home. Five learning support centres are operational now to ease families’ access to learning resources.
- Phone mentoring program to support parents and children during this lockdown.
- The partner network secured 28 birth certificates in the fight to improve access to justice for the children of Harare.
- Met with 20 government officials for a dialogue following the commemoration of the Day of the African Child
Prayer: Covid cases have risen to over 1000 cases in Zimbabwe. Please pray for the safety of families
Pray for children who are learning from home that their families will be supportive
Pray for the team as they continue to do the phone-mentoring program.
Pray especially for cooperation from parents, children and the volunteers
CONNECT – South Africa
- The QIS team is working furiously behind the scenes to adapt the Child Protection Module for online training
- Connect partner network has continued to run its ‘Reduce Abuse campaign’ to keep children and women safe from abuse.
Prayer: South Africa has the highest cases of Covid-19 in Africa. Please pray for the safety of children and families during this time
Pray for Connect’s ‘Reduce Abuse Campaign’ to reach as many people as possible in order to reduce the rate of violence and abuse among families.
Pray for successful meetings as Connect does the QIS child protection online training this month
Zambia – SCAR
- The partner network has supported 36 families every month with food packs and information on Covid-19 and child protection.
- SCAR partner network has been running an hour long radio program focusing on child protection under Covid-19 for the past three weeks and it is scheduled to last for 12 weeks
- A group of pastors from one of the platforms is currently shooting a film on Child Protection during Covid-19
- The partner network has supported selected households with a variety of vegetable seeds to support the initiative of backyard vegetable gardens.
Prayer: Pray for the team as they distribute food packs this week to another set of 36 households in Lusaka.
Pray for the partner network to raise additional funds to extend the radio program to at least 56 weeks.
Pray that the message of the film being shot will contribute to efforts of safeguarding children in Lusaka
Pray for households being supported to do backyard gardens that this will provide alternative livelihoods to such households during COVID-19. Also, pray for the partner network as it looks for additional resources to get more seeds to support additional households.
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
- Community Centre mobilization of resources thinking in sustainability
- Government meetings in some countries to find solutions together- City-wide influence
- Strengthen churches work to share the gospel and backing to the vision of Network-Heart of Viva.
- 44 leaders of the partner network receiving training of Celebrating Children tool, to complete the course they need to work in Collective Action project, so they will join to be the support team of Community Centre of the network, expecting to have 20 of them as main action group from 10 churches of the network.
- 79 people participated in Facebook live presentation of Mapping where the partner network introduced the collective actions and invited them to join the network
- 9 mentors trained with phone mentoring program to start as part of the Community Centre initiative to support 100 families where 60 of those are receiving basic needs (food) because due to Covid-19, they are unemployed
Prayer: Pray for the ongoing training with Celebrating Children course
Pray for the following up process of Mapping and answers from churches to join in the network
- An average of 1,100 are infected by Covid-19 and 40 deaths a day, so, the partner network continues to work with 40 churches to follow up on 500 families, which are part of the 3-month food response Project-Central America Relief- together with ENLACE, Tearfund, Convoy of Hope and Life Church are searching the funds.
- The partner network leaders continue emotionally supporting 30 families living in the La Verbena Cemetery, on resilience and food issues, the place in which the majority of those deaths by Covid-19 in Guatemala City are being buried. This group of 30 families are the first to start with Viva’s mentoring call program.
- The Government asked the partner network to be the leader of a Street Children Program and bring the guidelines to start a Government project to support children who live on the streets- now the partner network has started meeting to work out a strategy.
Prayer: Pray for the Central America Relief program and reach the goal to support 500 families in Guatemala
Pray for ongoing meetings with Government to implement the project of Street Children Rescue
- 1472 families and 25 families of pastors continue receiving food in agreement with Convoy of Hope
- Building together agenda with Convoy of Hope and ENLACE to work in collaboration for Central America Relief project to benefit 500 families more of the network
- Agreement with World Vision to work with tools resources for 400 churches which started with WWP initiatives.
Prayer: Pray for the Central America Relief program and reach the goal to support 500 families in El Salvador
Pray for ongoing meetings with Organizations to join together and respond according families and children needs, special lack of food and sharing the gospel through materials for Sunday school leaders that are making online sessions with kids.
- 12 leaders of the partner network started training of Network Development from 3 regions- Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and South of Honduras(Choluteca).
- The partner network is working with 19 churches to follow up on 500 families, which are part of the 3-month food response Project-Central America Relief- together with ENLACE, Tearfund, Convoy of Hope and Life Church
- The Government invited the partner network to an advocacy table with the Government and Civil Society called “Let’s transform Honduras” with 2 spaces, Health and Education- The main theme that the coordinator of the partner network brought -Maria Luna- was: ‘Corruption is Killing Us, not the Coronavirus’, because for all the people of Honduras it is known that economic contributions for health are arriving and they are not being executed or nobody knows what happened with the money.
- The response requested from the partner network to execute is: to work with 150 educational centres in 15 departments out of the 18 in the whole country, to work on transparency mechanisms, as a pilot, and then apply them in all educational centres – and it will be a rule installed by the Ministry of Education. It is called “Transparency in Schools”
Prayer: Pray for the Central America Relief program and reach the goal to support 500 families in Honduras
Pray for ongoing meetings with Government to lead the process as a partner network with good results and bring the pilot programme to the whole country, asking God to change the mind-set of the population and create a transparent culture.
Pray for Maria Luna’s husband- he was in Miami visiting his sister when the pandemic started, and he had 4 months away from home, anxious to return, and expecting flights in August
Pray for Arely, she is part of the team and she had Covid-19, she is already recovering and little by little she is improving, in the case of her, her sight and breathing affected her a lot, but she is recovering better, she is distressed that her daughter who has the virus, has high fever periods, but it seems that she has been better.
- 3 workshops on Covid-19 supporting emotional care with 38 pastors actively participating, the topics of the workshops are Psychological Help, Anxiety Management and Resilience, which at the same time has been the method to connect pastors
- An action plan was made for the next 3 months to strengthen the partner network and 40 people from the partner network will be trained in Protection (18 pastors and 22 church leaders). In the same way, a Financial Transparency is included, all the workshops are being programmed virtually through the zoom platform, or in some cases called via “WhatsApp” for small groups that do not have access to zoom or do not have to pay for the internet and they are recharged on their cell phones for WhatsApp calls.
- Family project, the last Covid-19 Interventions workshops are being taught, in small groups, reaching 1700 people and continuing in issues of prevention of domestic violence through the men’s partner network of 70 participants.
- The process of inviting members according to statutes is: a form is sent to them which they complete, their profile and their history are studied, when they are approved they have a voice and in the second assembly they have a voice and vote.
Prayer: Pray for pastors and leaders to keep safe and healthy, the government continues without responsibilities for the virus and many people are dying on the streets and those who die in hospitals only say it is atypical pneumonia
Pray for partner network processes to occur, with protection and wisdom for Melida Mendez as operative coordinator and Pastor Sebastian Ocon as lead pastor of the partner network.
- As of today, Red Viva Costa Rica provides emergency Covid-19 support to 378 families with food bags, families that have been affected in their income by loss of employment, reduction of the working day, loss of their own business and even pastors and leaders who do not receive income in their congregations which means that the affectation also reaches their homes, since the reopening of temples has been slowed in most places in Costa Rica and those who can open are for 75 people maximum. In the same way, one of the action groups in the partner network is to work with children’s feeding centres and, since they do not have approval to open, but seeing the need of children and adolescents, each church of this action group has continued supporting 540 children during this pandemic bringing them food to their homes and providing healthcare.
- 10 Churches in the partner network are joining the leadership of the Community Centre in order to add 20 leaders who support and provide volunteer work within the Community Centre, and to seek 6-month self-sustainability, with the aim that in 1 year, 110 families can be cared for holistically. Likewise, the partner network is serving another group of 100 families with the Viva mentoring call program, which responds to the resilience component of the Community Centre and we are in talks with the Ministry ‘Moving Hopes’ of Samaritan Purse in Costa Rica to support a call centre that deals with emotional emergencies in Covid-19 issues.
- This week, Costa Rica celebrates 4 months from the start of the confinement measures and vehicle restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which have generated an increase in the unemployment rate in the country, remembering that by the end of 2019 the unemployment rate was 12.4%, the highest in the last decade and for this period to July wit was 15.7% (INEC-statistic institute). This is summarized as an average of 500,000 people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, the equivalent of 10 football stadiums with the capacity of 50,000 people totally full.
Prayer: Pray for pastors and leaders to keep safe and healthy and for good local mobilization for the Community Centre.
Pray for Willow Creek partners who are providing mobilisation funds for Costa Rica and Guatemala as partners supporting the Community Centre.
Pray for the 3 main leaders of phone mentoring program who are supporting 100 families
Pray for the partner network board and the Strategic Plan for the next 3 years.
- Phone mentoring program was shared with 62 leaders in a presentation and it is estimated that each person will be trained by 3 mentors, so by the end of August we will have 186 mentors to support families.
- Nazarene’s church is assuming the phone mentoring program as the main program to support families in all country.
Prayer: Pray for 3 main partner network leaders and the planning process that has started for partner network development
Pray for the phone mentoring program success that will be the main program to support families in the country
- 9 mentors were trained and it will be done at the national level and each mentor will train 3 more, to achieve 27 mentors trained in August.
- The partner network is training those who do not have access to the internet in person with visits, as pandemic management in the country allows them to have face-to-face meetings with health care measures.
Prayer: Pray for 9 main mentor leaders and the phone mentoring program which we have a plan to distribute to all areas of the country.
Pray for health and protection of partner network coordinator leaders.
- 513 kids connected through the Zoom platform in 2 days event each morning, taking advantage of technology to make an expo-children’s event, was held to keep the children of the partner network connected with creativity, games and teaching the Bible.
- We relaunched the website taking advantage of the expo, where there was a reach of 30 thousand people following the expo on social networks.
- A team of 5 people was established to lead Protection Policies and on July 21 the workshop will be done with the mushrooms and they will be ready to start the workshops.
- Started Strategic meeting discussion with a group of 6 pastors to have the input-elements for the “Strengthening of the Church” – first steps of the strategy in this new normality
- Planning for October the Expo-family and planning to start with Good Treatment Campaign Online version for this event involving kids and their families.
Prayer: Pray for pastors working in the border between Colombia and Venezuela. It is a stressful time due to the pandemic and border situation, we are asking God for partner network pastors’ emotional protection – one pastor committed suicide 2 weeks ago due to economic and community problems.
Pray for plans and strategic meetings going well involving pastors from Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena and Cucuta areas thinking in national response for churches.
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.