1. Phone Mentoring
Viva’s new Phone Mentoring programme was launched last week. Partner networks have begun training mentors and translating materials into local languages. We expect the first calls to families to begin in the next week or so. Currently we have raised $5,000 towards covering the cost of phone calls and mentor honorariums. We predict a further $55,000 will help us reach 12,000 families linked to 24 partner networks with this phone mentoring programme designed to reduce ensure people have trustworthy information on COVID-19, reduce domestic violence, improve family relationships and improve home learning. If you know someone who could help fund the wider reach of this programme, please get in touch and we can send them our funding proposal.
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.
Updates from the UK
Zoom youth groups all going well with young people appreciating the safe space to hang out with each other and talk about things on their minds. Pray for energy & ideas for the youth worker team.
Friday Refresh gaining momentum with a mixture of adults attending, usually between 10 and 20 each week, depending on the speaker and focus. Next week’s speaker is a London youth worker who was a pupil of Charlotte’s in Kenya back in 1999!
Prayer: Please pray for children, young people and families as they face uncertainty over what the transition back to school and/or ‘life’ post lockdown is likely to look like.
Please pray for God to continue to inspire all the Zoom youth groups and Friday Refresh, bringing life, energy, hope and refreshment, with no one person dominating any session but space for all to take part.
Updates from Asia
Philippines – Work has been continuing in the Mindanao refugee camps – relief work and education around sanitation and hygiene. Fe is looking at continuing to develop great opportunities for us to do more in and around the family strengthening mentorship programme. We have just launched our family strengthening mentoring scheme which is initially being released to 1,000 families – 5,000+ family members. We should see results soon.
Prayer: Fe, our in-country partner network lead has had to cut her staff team down to working 2 days a week because of a funding crisis, along with inability to complete existing projects. Please also pray for the welfare of her staff as many are isolated from their families.
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. The partner network is struggling to do more because of the extreme lockdown conditions, so we are praying for favour to be able to expand our relief work there.
Prayer: Food is becoming scarce, most people are not able to work and do not have savings to rely on so cannot buy food.
Myanmar – Many of the partner network are sick and are dealing with scarcity of food. Prices have gone up food for the orphanages is minimal at best at the moment. Our programme lead is also in quarantine with suspected Covid-19. We have just had finances in to provide food for the 500 children situated in orphanages. We hope for a swift ability to reach out and support those most vulnerable at this time.
Prayer: Pray for provision of health and provision of essential foods. Ni Sat, our in country lead has been in quarantine this past two weeks, and has just been released. Pray for the struggle that each of our members is facing in terms of provision, and also for the many terribly affected by war and food scarcity.
Cambodia – Viva has been doing a lot of promotion around hygiene and once a week is delivering food parcels to some 200 families, despite a lack of funding. Hope School, a member of the partner network, has combined with a church and is providing relief packages to some 50 families in the area.
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.
Hong Kong – Reached out to 12 potential partners to introduce Viva HK child protection services. 3 organisations interested in further exploring partnership opportunity.
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 they exit the lockdown and are back interacting.
India – Hyderabad partner network continues to raise local support to give dry groceries to 50 families.
Patna partner network has developed a partnership with OXFAM to deliver 1,000 relief packages.
Hundreds and thousands of migrant workers with families, including children, are travelling thousands of kilometres on foot from South and West India to their villages in the East Indian cites of Patna and further east. These migrant workers are tired and traumatised from their long hike.
Prayer: Pray for partnership with Oxfam for distributing 1,000 relief packages in Patna.
Pray for translation and promotion of WWP and the Covid-19 mentoring materials in 4 Indian languages.
Updates from Africa
CRANE – Uganda
- The majority of children who came from the streets and were staying at Nakivubo School have been reunited with their families while others have been taken up by different organisations for skills training. We thank the Lord for His faithfulness.
- Community radios have made people aware of the need to report cases and learn where to go to report these cases. There are now more cases and they are being followed up.
- Lessons to be broadcast on national TV are being finalised and will aired on TV soon
- 7,000 children are going to be followed up and relief given to selected families.
- QIS- project planning and design Doodly videos being shared with members for Foundations to help them identify gaps and better themselves and as well their organisations. The 31 Standards will follow.
- Preparations for the World Weekend of Prayer (WWP)
Prayer: Pray for the aunt of one of the CRANE staff, Chris, who has been unwell for some time .
Remember a 16 year old who suffered sexual abuse. Pray that the perpetrator will be found and dealt with accordingly.
Pray for the aunt of one of the CRANE staff, Chris, who has been unwell for some time
Pray for families in need. Many families do not have anything to eat.
Please pray for the protection of our children and all children during this rainy season especially with mudslides and floods in various parts of the country.
Pray for families in the locust infested areas especially for God’s protection in terms of food since most gardens will have been left without any crops.
MCAN – Tanzania
- QIS project planning and design messages being shared with members
- World Weekend of Prayer sharing going on
- Family mentoring through the WhatsApp to introduce to them the Viva family phone mentoring program
Prayer: Pray for safety and protection of families as cases continue to grow.
Pray for wisdom for leaders so that they will know how to handle the situation.
Pray for MCAN’s new family mentoring working group that it will live up to the goals for which it has been formed.
VNZ – Zimbabwe
- Food Security – Planting in 3 community gardens was done, poultry was also distributed to the beneficiaries. 410 beneficiaries benefited from poultry or community gardens.
- World Weekend of Prayer preparations through WhatsApp messages, SMS messages as well as emails.
- New Life project – Organisations and churches are working towards the improvement of their systems even if they are operating from home
- Feedback and Child protection training with Child Care Workers (CCW) was done.
- Follow-ups on birth registrations with CCWs was done.
- CCWs continue to champion child protection in communities with a particular focus on online sexual exploitation of children, the gender impact of Covid-19 on girl children as well as church response to Covid-19 with a special focus on children.
- Education Support –The partner network is mobilizing local business community members, churches and other willing participants nationally and internationally to support 50 children who were identified to be in need of school fees and other needs.
- 5 learning support centres are not operational and children are learning from home. VNZ is seeking for ways to resource them in order for learning sessions to be delivered online. Such services include computers, cell phones, mobile data as well as printers.
- Covid-19 Response – VNZ has continued to encourage and guide all the members to establish systems which will ensure child protection during the Covid-19 period. Information is being disseminated though emails, WhatsApp, SMS messages as well as phone calls.
Prayer: The abuse of children during this lockdown period is high and we request for your prayers for the effectiveness of our online campaigns for child protection as well as for the Lord to raise men and women who will stand for the protection of children.
Planting in community gardens as well as the distribution of poultry to beneficiaries in Epworth was done and we request for prayers for the success of the project in meeting the food needs of the food insecure families in Epworth, Harare.
We have 50 drop out children we noted to be in very difficult circumstances, and we request your prayers for success in our endeavours in mobilising their school fees.
More and more cases of people in difficult circumstances as a result of the Covid-19 Lockdown in our nation are arising and we request for your prayers for the nation to have increased capacity to meet the needs.
CONNECT – South Africa
- May is child protection month in South Africa and Connect Network were taking part to ensure children are kept safe
- QIS child protection mentoring is going on
- Food distribution is happening via 10 key partner network members
Prayer: Connect Network have kept supporting their organisations with their child protection needs but also continually assessing the needs and supporting where possible, in terms of getting resources to them.
Pray for God’s ongoing guidance, wisdom and provision especially for families in need.
SCAR – Zambia
- The partner network is providing supplies to their members through churches, including food, soap, detergent and toiletries.
Prayer: Pray for provision as the partner network does not have enough supplies for member organisations
There are stringent restrictions on movement. Pray for protection as the partner network works to ensure supplies get to their members
Updates from Latin America:
Summary of the monthly report of Latin-American team
- Viva in Latin America has joined with Enlace (Link), Tearfund, Convoy of Hope and Life Church (USA) to develop a joint response to challenges of Covid-19. The Viva team is part of the coordination team, invited by Willow Creek to participate. Together we expect to raise 500 packages of food for 500 families in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
- The Evangelical Alliance through the Emergency Response Team is asking us to collaborate and be part of the strategy of response with an open door for Viva to work with 4,800 churches across all countries.
- Launching World Weekend of Prayer:
- All partner networks are using the new WWP email signature
- A new song has been created
- Social media promotion: https://www.facebook.com/FSMOViva/
- We have been given an online radio slot to promote the WWP. Members of the partner networks are participating with a topic about the children in Costa Rica, Mexico, Venzuela, Colombia and El Salvador. We have an agenda for this month and the next one. On average 1,345 people are listening to each one.
- We started a children’s campaign with the hashtag #estopasará, and we produce videos and pictures along with the children.
Prayer: For migrants, families, single women and migrant children, very vulnerable people and for their situation even more acute during this pandemic.
For children and adolescents in Mexico and Brazil, who suffer so much from violence in their homes that there are cases of suicide.
Specific prayers for countries in the region that are having a very hard time: Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Venezuela.
Partner Network Specific Updates:
México: Situational mapping was completed. The partner network is supporting 36 families with food and resilience support in spiritual and physiologic areas (the partner network is working with volunteers: 2 psychologists, 2 family pastors and 2 affective counsellors). Community Centre plans in progress, but pausing establishment due to strict lock down. The partner network is making plans to start Viva’s phone mentoring programme and is also promoting the World Weekend of Prayer.
Prayer: For families of Red Viva México and church leaders that are responding to this crisis, asking God for health protection for them.
For children and adolescents in Mexico, who are struggling with depression, anguish, violence or abuse in their homes to avoid suicide.
For health and education systems of México.
Guatemala: Raising a list of 20 families from 25 churches to support with food assistance.
The partner network is working with 45 churches to guide the World Weekend of prayer via cellphone communication-WhatsApp.
The children of cemetery are participating in World Weekend of prayer activities making games and singing, the last week the partner network celebrated the birthday of two twin sisters who were worried that they would have no one to celebrate their birthday.
Prayer: Pray for the children of the cemetery for their mental and physical health, because La Verbena Cemetery is where they live and where the Government is burying all those who died with Covid-19.
Pray for families who are losing their jobs and have nothing to eat.
Pray for the pastors of the partner network, speaking with many of them they are giving back the places for meeting because they cannot pay rent.
Pray for the partner network team on health and protection issues amid the assistance provided during the pandemic.
El Salvador: Last week the Government of El Salvador started to give 300 packages of food for the partner network to distribute to families. So, the total of response in food is 1,799 family’s packages of food.
Prayer: National political situation: there is disagreement between Executives and Legislative Government Powers and create an environment of uncertainty in the midst of the crisis.
Nicaragua: Family support project continues working, but with all health care restrictions promoted by the partner network (the political environment on health issues is very tense so the partner network is developing its own safety guidelines), the partner network started a WhatsApp group to keep the membership connected and is promoting health advise, and trying to guide the pastoral process with members. The family counselors and legal advisors of the projects are working from scheduled online meetings and follow health restriction if meeting face-to-face with church leaders.
Prayer: For 4 pastors of the partner network that have Covid-19 and the members of the churches that are also infected.
For family members who have lost relatives who became infected, but the Government has not had the capacity to respond to health issues.
For the protection of the network equipment and for an acceptance by the Government to recognize that it is a health problem that needs to be addressed.
- 374 families continue receiving food from the partner network during the emergency. The partner network is trying to find additional resources to support an unreached group of 1,040 families.
- 40 elders continue receiving food from 3 churches that are working together, walking inside communities where they find them in fear with no resources or option to go out for food.
- World Weekend of prayer supporting the promoting health care in homes through the 70 churches and organisations in 2% printed resources and 98% online materials.
- A partner network member is producing chlorine and face masks to support partner network members and also producing jobs for single mothers or heads of household.
- The Government will allow opening to the Churches from June 21 with a maximum of 75 people, so the partner network is supporting churches to meet the requirements established by the Ministry of Health.
- A National Forum is being developed to support pastors with a manual to support the protocol established by the Evangelical Alliance.
- Protocols for Church Sunday Schools is being promoted, from the childhood working group of the Evangelical Alliance so that the Churches are ready when the approval to return with classes for children is given.
- Agreement made with Salvation Army to start Community Centre Strategy in their large building and negotiating adding a new partner network member Iglesia Cristian de Guadalupe to create spaces for Resilience support in place when the Government allow to start.
- Proposal with Willow Creek to start the Community Centre was approved and ready to start in June.
Prayer: For children who are being mistreated in their homes during the time of confinement.
Educational processes have become hard for many of children, since their caregivers do not have the knowledge or patience that is needed and end up attacking children.
Note: The Government reported an average of 30 calls per day in April and May of children who are receiving abuse and violence.
For pastors who do not meet requirements to open their church buildings in this new stage, because the new health requirements mean they need to invest and they have no resources to do this – some of them are considering giving back the rented buildings.
- Distributing food to 200 families and supporting the pastors and leaders to find strategies to work Viva Deportiva-Sports- with teenagers in communities with pastoral care actions when they have the opportunity to move in country. The volunteers partner network is helping to make the distribution of food.
Prayer: For the situation of the pandemic that we are entering, phase 5, hospitals begin to collapse and there are no ICUs available.
For the economy because many companies have already closed, leading to thousands of unemployed people as the economy has been paralysed for 75 days.
For the social situation, many groups of residents and neighbourhoods, transport workers, are now demonstrating due to hunger as they have been without work for 75 days and their families live on what they earn daily.
For the very high increase in domestic violence, mainly against women and children.
Prayer: Pray for Brazil, more than 360,000 cases and 22,666 deceased people.
Prayer: Pray for Venezuela where the curve is increasing. Pray as the political tension is very strong, the authoritarian regime carries out operations to strengthen its dominance in the country. This is done by inventing news, gathering information in their favour and disqualifying others, in the midst of the pandemic.
Pray for the climate of tension in Venezuela. That the Church and civil society focus on helping to satisfy the basic needs of the country.
- Seeking bio-safety equipment for teams following-up and monitoring projects and staff who work on the street
- Working in 4 cities (Oruro, Cochabamba, Norte Potosí and El Alto), supporting the most needy families with food. The quarantine greatly affected the country’s economy, more than 70% of families of the partner network’s projects work in the informal business and due to the quarantine, they cannot go out to work.
- Mapping to identify the most needy families.
- Started virtual classrooms to work with children on self-protection factors for both children from 7 to 12 years old and children from 3 to 6 years old. This is effective through zoom, Facebook and YouTube.
Prayer: A coronavirus patient must pay $ 15,000 to $ 20,000 in a private clinic to be cared for; an amount impossible for most people to pay. The state health system does not know what to do since the doctors are infected and it shows us how poorly prepared the doctors are.
Please pray for protection for the partner network members, who are continuing to serve children in this time, for children, and their families as well as for the those working in the healthcare system.
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.