Updates from our partner networks – 3 September 2020

Global Updates

1. Phone Mentoring

Viva’s new Phone Mentoring programme is being set up in 25 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.

  • 15 countries have started the mentoring programme so far and have recorded just under 10,000 calls with nearly 3,000 families.
  • The calls are already impacting 9,258 children whose families are taking part.
  • 8 more countries are preparing to run the programme.
  • Overall, we expect to train 650 mentors and mentor 6,800 families (1 adult and 1 child directly) benefitting over 17,000 children.

  • Here is some of the information from the calls so far:
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2. Food Relief

Since the start of the pandemic, 27 partner networks in 19 countries have responded to the crisis by distributing food relief and emergency health supplies to nearly 13,000 families. There are plans to support at least a further 512 families and we would love to do more. We continue to seek funding to support partner networks with their food relief.

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Updates from the UK

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Doorsteps, Oxford:

  • We are continuing to develop plans for the youth work; school finish times are extremely staggered which makes after school clubs an interesting challenge, and ‘bubbling’ in year groups means our regular lunchtime clubs can’t run as usual. We have had positive conversations about going in to support two key year groups in one school (220 young people per year group).
  • Charlotte is busy liaising with early years’ providers across Oxfordshire to answer groups’ questions about how/when to risk assess reopening safely. So many people are missing weekday toddler groups but the current guidance isn’t yet very clear.
  • The Find Your Fire youth team are meeting Wed 9th Sept (socially distanced) to pray and reconnect in person for the first time since March – praise God for these opportunities!

Prayer: It was encouraging to hear back from Spires (school) re youth work next term, no details as yet but initial contact encouraging. Please continue to pray for Hannah to be able to get back into schools to support young people, and for the right young people to be referred onto this coming year’s Find Your Fire, the ones who FYF will really make a difference for.

Please pray for wisdom in planning youth groups in; for a sustainable rhythm and a good balance of Zoom and face to face meetings.

Please continue to pray for real impact Early Years wise, that groups would feel supported, connected and inspired to reach out to struggling families with young children. Praise God for the real difference church-run toddler / mums & baby groups make to parents, especially those who don’t have good support networks.

Updates from Asia

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Philippines – We have trained most of our mentors for the mentoring scheme and are working out how to deal with connectivity issues to ensure that our programme can work effectively.  We are working with 10+ partner network coordinators on how they can develop the work of their partner networks and grow their work. That will be completed by early November. It takes a week’s training every other week. And we are working with Viva India to deliver.

Prayer:  Pray for our staff as they are actively in the field during a time when Covid is not necessarily under control.  Pray for their safety as they seek to reach those most marginalised during this time. One of our BOT, Chairperson Fr. Lendehl Sallidao is hospitalised due to COVID. We ask for complete and speedy recovery.

Nepal – The partner network has been gearing up to provide food parcels to 300 families who have been classified at risk by the Nepali government. But is waiting for lockdown rules to ease before doing this.  Praise God we were able to get travel passes for the partner network which means that its work can continue in the province. The partner network is launching the phone mentoring programme with 300 + families. We have seen some great interaction with this programme in homes.  Pray for more funding to come in to meet the needs of families that are facing food scarcity. We have also started a partner network training course for our staff in Nepal.  This should help them to grow the partner network and work so that it is more effective in developing a meaningful response to protecting children.

Prayer: Pray for staff that they would be able to provide for the various needs the partner network has.  Pray that there would be continued excellent engagement in phone mentoring and also in the relief work that it would get the necessary government permissions to ensure children and families are able to eat.

Myanmar – We have just finished a major relief project providing food for 600 children in orphanages. The partner network is currently undergoing NTC training to help them to grow and develop their work in Nepal. Pray for the partner network as it has been difficult to meet under current restrictions and the partner network doesn’t have the same ability to do things online.

Prayer:  1. Pray for the Lord’s protection and good heath for all children homes including caretakers under this Covid situation. If anyone becomes Covid19 infected, everyone would be sent to quarantine centres for at least 21 to 30 days (many centres do not provide food or daily essential items). This is rainy season so the risk of malaria, dengue is high. Yesterday one partner shared children in his area is infected by Diphtheria. Every child is staying indoors afraid to go out.  These will need vaccinations.

2. Pray for children who had spent their holiday break with their relatives from other States and who wish to return to the children homes.  How to provide a safe place for their quarantine period is an issue especially children with special needs.  Pray for wisdom on everyone involved including Social Welfare Ministry. The country is still under Covid 19 restrictions on gathering, social distancing, visa, travel bans on international flights. These are seriously affecting our Viva trainings and joint activities.

3. Continue to uplift the financial situation of our partner network members.  Our members are so grateful for the timely food items support from VIVA. Many are struggling after months of lockdown and a ban from Social Welfare of outsiders to visit children homes. 

4. We are thankful for the great fellowship we have had with various partner network members through the distribution of relief work.

Cambodia – XQuib took some time off this last couple weeks to refresh and recharge after an intense time of completing the partner network situational mapping report.  He’s now back into the swing of things and about to hire his first staff to help with the development of the partner network.  Praise God for that.

Prayer:  Pray that the partner network would be able to offer the right level of support through its partner network members to reach those that are most at need. Whether that is through phone mentoring, relief work or partner network development activity.  We are thankful for the adaptive approach that TAI or founders in Cambodia are using and thankful that we can meet the needs of children there.

Hong Kong – The focus of August was to reach out to more potential partners. We have reached around 10 NGO/churches in a call to introduce Viva HK’s CP services. The achievement of the month was completing the translation of phone mentoring guide into traditional Chinese.
We recently did our first online training for Child protection for Kowloon ECC and have got some more training planned for another big church ICA.  Matt has recently put a proposal into the Seeds Foundation to see if they will fund some CP work for NGO’s in the city who don’t have CP policies, but who would benefit from it. This amount for approximately 100,000 HKD would be allocated to core expenditure and very welcome.  Pray it is well received.
We are in full on prep mode for the annual dinner.  It will take place either by zoom or in person depending on the lifting of government sanctions as a result of Covid.  Please be praying that this would be a wonderful fundraising event and a chance to celebrate the amazing work Viva is and has done over the last year. 

Prayer:  Pray for the various preparations we are making for the board dinner, that they would be well received, and that ultimately God’s will would be done, and P.S. we would get lots of money for Viva. 

Updates from India

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Viva Delhi Partner Network

Delhi Partner network is doing a phone mentoring program in partnership with 5 organisations. They have at present 7 mentors mentoring 122 families. One new organisation has joined the program bringing 150 families new families for mentoring. 
Discussion is taking place with National Council for Church and YMCA for Child Protection Training.

Prayer: Prayer solicited for success of talks with National Council of Churches and YA.

Shine Partner Network Hyderabad

Shine Partner network have 8 mentors and are presently mentoring 80 families under Phone mentoring program.

Partner network is trying to start new batch for phone mentoring program. Please pray that they will be able to find willing network partners for it.

Prayer: Pray for the reduction of the Covid cases in the city.

Viva Shillong Partner Network

Viva Shillong Partner network is also running Phone Mentoring Program. Presently they have 13 mentors who are mentoring 64 families.

Prayer: Pray that the partner network will be able to start second round of Phone Mentoring Program.

Viva Children at Risk Partner Network, Patna

In their Phone Mentoring Program, Viva Network Patna has 32 mentors. Altogether these mentors are mentoring 235 families. Partner network is likely to enter into partnership with a Church Network to start another round of training.

Mask distribution program for people living on road side is going on.

Prayer: Partner network solicits prayer for safety of its coordination team which is doing mask distribution.

Asha Forum, Bangalore

Asha Forum Bangalore has 12 mentors in their phone mentoring program. They are mentoring 205 families.
Partner network is also running Flourish program for adolescent girls.

Prayer: Please continue to pray for financial needs of Phone Mentoring mentors as they are facing financial crisis.

Johar Children at Risk Partner Network, Ranchi

Phone Mentoring Program- Johar Children Network, Ranchi is continuing phone mentoring program for 356 families. They have 27 mentors and are doing the program in two batches.

Monthly prayer meeting is being organized through zoom for ministry partners.

Prayer: We thank God for good recovery of Angelina, wife of Premchand our partner network coordinator who underwent abdominal surgery month.

Viva Himalaya Network, Dehradun

Pray for Ameeta Bahadur, as she organizes phone mentoring program in Viva Himalaya Partner network.

Prayer: Please pray for Ameeta Bahadur as she is organizing Phone Mentoring Program.

Viva Pune Network

Ms Alisha Silas Dongardive, Exploration Coordinator has started attending Viva meetings. She is in the process of learning how Viva functions. 

Prayer: Please pray for Alisha that God will use her for Viva work.

Updates from Africa

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CRANE – Uganda

  • Directors meeting
  • Trained 74 teachers in ICT – email communication virtually
  • Phone mentoring programme ongoing
  • Trained 35 mentors and 10 project girls with an agricultural background on small scale farming.
  • 461 families received seedlings as empowerment to enhance their family income and nutrition
  • Moderating learning resources for learners in communities. P.1- p.3 – Literacy and numeracy
  • Trained 4 ECD teachers with ICT skills and 2 of their supervisors
  • Engaged 40 children virtually to know what is going on in their lives
  • Training positive discipline parenting and positive discipline in communities where our projects are in small groups of less than 20

Prayer: Parents are being empowered with seeds for agriculture to enhance their nutrition. Pray that the process will go well and families will have successful agricultural projects

Teachers are undergoing training, pray that it goes well and benefits them. Also that technology will work in their favour

MCAN –  Tanzania

Visited 5 members to support implementation of QIS standards.
Phone mentoring programme is still ongoing. 2 out of 5 have successfully completed this task.
Translated NTC module into Swahili so that we can share with our members
Preparations for a training targeting pastors, youths, parents and children on how they each can stay safe online.

Prayer: Pray for sense of direction as we come up with various initiatives to ensure sustainability of the partner network.

Pray that the messages being shared through the phone mentoring programme will positively impact the different families being reached.

Prayer for unity among our partner network members

VNZ – Zimbabwe

2 posters and a directory of services on child protection were printed and distributed.

Follow-ups on birth registrations with Child Care Workers have continued to be done and 11 birth

Phone mentoring is ongoing. 10 mentors are working with 100 children. All the mentors are in the process of doing their 4th call.

Covid Response* – Community engagement on siting, selection of water management committee and siting was done in Ruwa and 2 boreholes will be drilled in the following week.

Prayer: Covid 19 cases have continued to increase and we need protection for our workers and staff members

Drilling boreholes will start next week and we need sufficient water for the children and community

CONNECT – South Africa

QIS Child protection training online led by Michelle Kempster 

Prayer: Please pray for continued financial provision, protection and strategic direction during this time of Covid 19

Zambia – SCAR

Radio talk show to spread awareness on children protection and safety tips for Covid 19  

Prayer: Praise – COMUNDO Zambia are requesting our services to train 15 of their partner organizations which will impact the safeguarding of thousands of children.

Thanks for the high number of viewers on radio programme – reaching many children and their parents and for the finances to continue the Food Assistance Programme until December.

Pray for vulnerable families at this time and for children who are living in frightening and violent environments. We cry out to God to protect them and surround them with his angels.

Updates from Latin America:

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  • Online platforms are being used for training and analysis meetings with each partner network 1-2 times a week to complete the 10 Viva benchmarks for sustainability. 5 Forums with specialists. Also, preparation of methodological guides (Toolbox) for the implementation of each benchmark. 12 participating countries.
  • More than 15,000 families benefited from the actions of the partner networks in the region, receiving food, basic health supplies and cleaning.
  • Central America Relief Initiative collaboration with Life Church (USA) is taking place in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The churches involved have received Codes of Conduct for the prevention of child abuse.
  • The first 2 community centres have opened in Costa Rica and Mexico, with the support of Willow Creek and Vista Hermosa Foundation. They are designed to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic by supporting families who have experienced unemployment, by helping provide for the families in the short-term and working with them in the long-term to find work.
  • More than 12,000 volunteers have been mobilised at the regional level to respond to the emergency, in agreement with local governments. Key actions include packing and delivering food, making informative phone calls to help people better understand the pandemic, offering counselling o pastors, online forums with specialists, education and resilience programmes, “Because Families Matter” Program, the phone mentoring programme and helping families handle home schooling.
  • 673 children promoted good practices for the prevention of violence at home and prayer campaigns. 483 children participated in the ‘# this will end soon’ campaign, bringing hope through the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Prayer: Pray for continued strength for everyone working in the partner networks to continue their excellent work through these uncertain times.  

To continue to bring comfort and hope in the midst of the pandemic.

Continued success of the community centres.

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.