Since the proportion of the population that has been infected is very small, the largest impact of COVID 19 has been experienced at the socio-economic level. However, it has to be recognized that the situation is evolving on a daily basis and causing many challenges at both the national and community levels. The measures taken to disrupt the spread of the Coronavirus have had an impact on the majority of people.
The Coronavirus has impacted negatively on the communities that our partner network, Tehila, works in. The majority of households live in poverty and are not in formal employment. They depend on either lowly paid jobs or running small businesses. The general disruptions to the economy, caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus, have led to a partial shutdown of the economy which has impacted small businesses. This has led to high prices of most food and other essential commodities. Schools have also closed and most of the children are now at home. As most people are spending time at home there are reports of increased cases of domestic violence.
Tehila has also been affected negatively by the Coronavirus. Our staff are working from home with no access to partner network members. At a time like this, we believe that we are supposed to offer support to our partner network members and expand interventions to safeguard children at risk. However, this is not possible via normal public meetings, due to the restrictions.
Ideas being developed for possible responses, to enable Viva to work for more children, more effectively include:
- Community radio focused on children – including health messages; education content while they are missing school; games ideas
- Health and nutrition – providing a family check list
- Community centre – starting with a food bank to provide food packs, later, as restrictions lift, provision of community support and livelihood training
Real collective action brings about holistic change for children on a larger scale than any one organisation could achieve on their own.