Updates from our partner networks – October 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.

  • 16 countries have started the mentoring programme so far and have recorded over 27,500 calls with over 6,300 families.
  • The calls are already impacting 22,000 children whose families are taking part.
  • 7 more countries are preparing to run the programme.
    Overall, we expected to train 650 mentors and mentor 6,800 families (1 adult and 1 child directly) benefitting over 17,000 children.
  • Here is some more 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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3. Follow-up Covid-19 Response Programme

We are now developing a new Covid-response programme which will be split into two streams. One will extend the phone-mentoring programme following its recent success and will address the identified needs which require more in-depth support. The other will focus on education, helping to support children to ensure they do not miss out on vital education, to reduce any further impacts Covid-19 could have on their futures.

Updates from the UK

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Doorsteps, Oxford:

  • Several youth projects have restarted and we’ve now been able to have some sessions Face To Face with the young people, who really enjoyed being back ‘In Real Life’. There’s also a strong appetite in several groups to welcome in new members – they want to share the space they find safe with others.
  • Hannah has been invited into one school to work in person; we’re waiting to see what the NYA guidelines say, before discussing it with line manager, and she’s offered to do online support for exam-year students at a second school.
  • Charlotte continues to spearhead the new Oxon wide Early Years group, together with Home Start, and hosted the first EY Zoom get-together on 22 October. Feedback has been very positive. There were 38 attendees, both EY practitioners and strategic partners from across the county.

Prayer:  The schools work, that we’d know which doors to push on and which to leave for now.

Ongoing recruitment for our Find Your Fire project and other youth groups, for integrating new members via Zoom and for group dynamics to settle positively and quickly.

A new mental health umbrella project Charlotte & Hannah are thinking about – capturing much of what we’re already doing and looking to support parental mental health particularly.

Praise God for a successful launch event for Oxon Early Years and pray for ongoing networking/training events – for EY providers to connect & encourage each other to reach out to struggling families with pre-schoolers.

Updates from Asia

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Nepal – The Covid-19 situation in Nepal is not good. There are upwards of 1,000 cases a day and with a relatively small population that Is a significant amount. The government isn’t as well-resourced as it could be in dealing with this and so there are many Issues facing the team.  The team has had to shutter some of its staff in the Nurawkot area, and has lost some vital in-country funding. But they are continuing to operate and have just finalised a very successful food relief and phone mentoring programme.

Hong Kong – The last month has seen some new opportunities for training for HK Asia Pacific Soccer Schools after the board dinner has asked that we do some training for the staff In the HK junior football league. Along with this there are some exciting opportunities for training in the pipeline.

Prayer: For wisdom in dealing with the financial Implications COVID Is having on the workforce.

Myanmar – The work there has slowed with the lockdown. All of the partner orphanages are struggling with education for their children as teachers are unable to come and deliver lessons. Our staff there have been doing bible study for the children, but are worried about the future of some of these children who have recently been reclassified In different grades by the government. It all leads to a lot of uncertainty in our networks there. They have recently worked to deliver food relief to over 500 orphans from 23 different orphanages.

Prayer Request: For the lifting of restrictions so that the children can go back to some form of education.

Cambodia – The Network in Cambodia has recently started work with the Good Treatment Campaign and has also delivered QIS training for partners in the network. We have also taken on additional staff to help with the growing demand for the expansion of the network. This is exciting. But there are also many challenges. Flooding in the Siem Reap area left many people displaced and facing further financial cost, and In an area where 70% of people rely on the foreign tourism Industry then it is a burden many cannot face.  We are also about to start a food relief campaign for the families of our Flourish mentees, some of the most at risk children and families In the area.  Relief will help 100 families.

Prayer Request: For wisdom to understand how to manage growth, for the continued blessing of having very few Covid-19 cases, and for the work to have deep and meaningful Impact.

Philippines – We are happy to announce that we are expanding in the Philippines. We are in the early stages of a new network in Antipolo taking effect with a primary focus of stopping online sexual exploitation. With the Economic ramifications of Covid-19 seeing more of this happening it’s growth at a vital time.  We are continuing to work with the refugees In Mindanao training and supporting them and ensuring children are safe and protected in that environment and are using over 200 volunteers to support over 15,000 refugees. As the Philippines was hit with another huge typhoon in Bicol recently, PCMN our partner network there, Is starting to work with churches in the area to provide trauma first aid to many of the displaced children.

Prayer Request: Please continue to pray for funding for as many as 2,000,000 people have been seriously affected by the typhoon damage, with houses destroyed livelihoods lost and families losing members to the damage of the typhoon. So the need is great and your support through prayer is necessary.

Updates from India

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Please pray for favourable outcomes for proposals submitted to:

  • Crowell Trust
  • India Collaboration
  • Linklaters.
  • Commonwealth Foundation

Gary visited Nainital District to explore the feasibility of starting the 9th Network in India.  The YMCA centre, an ex-World Vision Coordinator, a Baptist Mission Project. Stanley E Jones Centre and a lawyer are eager for Viva to help start the Network in Nainital.

Viva Delhi Partner Network

The first batch of Phone mentoring program in Delhi Network is coming to an end. 7 mentors have mentored 94 families. The partner network is starting a fresh batch with 9 mentors who will be mentoring 100 families. 

Prayer: Pray that network will succeed in mentoring 200 families.

Shine Partner Network Hyderabad

The first batch of Phone mentoring program in Hyderabad Network is coming to an end. The second round of mentoring will cover more families than first round. Till date 180 families are part of the mentoring programme.

Prayer: Pray that network will succeed in mentoring close to 200 families.

Viva Shillong Partner Network

So far 92 families are benefiting from the mentoring programme. Pray for the coordinator and the mentors as they try to reach families and children in this remote north eastern state of India.

Prayer: Pray for encouragement and support for mentors and coordinators. Help them to feel included with the rest of the networks.

Viva Children at Risk Partner Network, Patna

Over 200 families have enrolled in the phone mentoring programme of which 65 have completed all the sessions.

Prayer: Pray for the healing and recovery of Devesh, his wife Nupur. Pray for covid safety and good health of Mukund, the network coordinator.

Asha Forum, Bangalore

12 mentors of Asha Forum Bangalore are nearly completing their training with the families they are mentoring in their phone mentoring program. They have added two new mentors who are in middle of the mentoring program. The mentors have finished mentoring 158 families out of a total of 193 families.

Prayer: Praise God for the mentors. They have successfully mentored 158 families so far.

Johar Children at Risk Partner Network, Ranchi

Phone Mentoring Program- Johar Children Network, Ranchi is continuing phone in two batches mentoring. They have 14 mentors in the first batch and 15 mentors in the second batch. The mentors in both batches will cover over 250 families.   

Prayer: Praise God for the mentors in the city – there efforts in reaching out to more than 250 families.

Viva Himalaya Network, Dehradun

The phone mentoring programme in Dehradun has started with 8 mentors.

Prayer: Please pray for Ameeta Bahadur and the success of the Phone Mentoring Program in Dehradun.

Viva Pune Network

The phone mentoring training was conducted for 8 mentors in the last week of October. The mentors are excited about the programme and aim to mentor 100 families in the city.  

Prayer: Please pray for Alisha, the coordinators and the phone mentors.

Updates from Africa

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CRANE – Uganda

  • Developing numeracy and literacy resources for learners
  • A total of 1195 girls from 17 GEC centres and 52 schools received peer learning awards after successfully exhibiting/showing off what they had learnt during lockdown
  • So far parents and peer ambassadors in 7 communities have received training in Child safeguarding/ protection, Positive parenting and Gender based violence
  • 10 graduates (all girls) from Masulita Vocational School received agricultural kits to kick start them on their next journey of life.
  • Virtual Annual General Meeting was successfully held
  • Press dialogue to discuss ways in which to support teenage mothers thrive under the theme ‘increasing opportunities for teenage mothers to survive and thrive’.
  • We have been in touch with 5784 GEC girls since lockdown but have not yet found 1721 of them, who we think left the city. Please pray for the tracking efforts, and that they would be safe meanwhile

Prayer: The team is doing interviews to recruit a new procurement officer. Please pray that the Lord will bring the right candidate.

Interviews to get a new bookkeeper are also scheduled. Please pray that that goes well.

Pray for the safety and protection against COVID-19 for all school going children.

Pray for the NHC data completion process.

MCAN –  Tanzania

  • Held a meeting with 2 stakeholders to brainstorm and see how best to serve and reach out to the children in Mwanza city.
  • Held a radio talk show and shared messages on social media to commemorate the day of the girl child.
  • Good treatment campaign preparations and mobilisation.
  • We have continued to share Viva QIS standards with Network Members.

Prayer: Tanzania just had its presidential elections. Please pray for peace and protection of children during this time.

Pray for the Government to allow access to social media again following the presidential election – it is the preferred form of communication for network members.

Pray for the NHC data completion process.

VNZ – Zimbabwe

  • Children in 5 learning centres are currently back to school
  • 47 birth certificates collected as follow ups on the same by case care workers continue.
  • Feedback meetings with 35 case care workers was held
  • An advocacy meeting with 13 policy makers was held.
  • A position paper on recommendations for policy on birth certificates was handed over to the parliamentarians and they will table it for discussion in parliament. Major issues noted in the position paper were the need for the authorisation of fathers to register their children in the absence of the mothers of the children, setting up of birth registration desks at hospitals, digitalisation of birth registration process as well as the relaxation of some conditions especially for vulnerable children especially where a birth record can be secured.
  • 10 mentors are working with 100 children. All the mentors are in the process of doing their last call.
  • 10 schools in Epworth, 91 churches and 24 organisations received messages on COVID prevention. Approximately 10,000 children were indirectly impacted by the messages.
  • 21 children were assisted with counselling at a children’s village.
  • Other 86 children were provided with counselling by VNZ Pavement Workers in their organisations.

Prayer: Please pray for the protection against COVID for all school going children.

Teachers are currently on strike, please pray for protection of children from abuse.

Water has continued to be a challenge for urban families in Harare resulting in some of them having water from shallow unprotected wells. The country needs more water sources as well as positive action from government in ensuring people have potable water.

Pray for the NHC data completion process.

CONNECT – South Africa

  • Virtual training and mentoring for QIS continues. Pray that this would be effective.
  • The network is getting up to speed with the new demands of safeguarding. Pray for the team who are helping to lead that process

Prayer: Pray for Grace Nkomo, the Network Director, as she steers the network through a new strategy review process.

Pray for Dee as she works with various secular bodies to get a model of QIS accredited and marketable to secular NGOs. This will raise money for Connect.

Pray for the NHC data completion process.

Zambia – SCAR

  • Radio programme on ‘ Protecting children together during Covid 19
  • Undertaking mapping exercise led by SCAR platform leaders

Prayer: Pray for the new Tehila counselling programme and that children will be healed.

Schools have reopened in Zambia for all learners, pray for protection.

Pray for our SCAR partner network members to take ownership of SCAR programmes.

Right now there’s a debate here in Zambia on the subject of the introduction of comprehensive sex education in schools. Pray for God’s wisdom as Tehila contributes to this debate.

Pray for the NHC data completion process.

Updates from Latin America:

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  • Launching a new diploma to help strengthening churches and organisations using QIS materials as well as resources from other organisations such as Tearfund
  • Launching Viva phone mentoring programme
  • Applied for further funding to support more food relief
  • Preparing to run the Good Treatment Campaign

Prayer: Pray for safety for partner network staff

Pray for more opportunities to work with new children despite schools being closed

Praise God for the young leaders supporting the partner network activities with other children and young people

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.