Viva brings the church together to respond effectively and efficiently for vulnerable children. We work with 38 partner networks across 27 countries with more than 4,000 local churches and organizations serving over 2 million vulnerable children
Viva’s response is significant as, by leveraging the resources and expertise of local churches and organisations, our model results in a high return on investment. Viva changes more children’s lives more effectively.
As you would imagine, Covid 19 is dominating the work our partner networks are engaged with at the moment. Viva’s work over many years building and partnering with our local partner networks means that they are in a strong position to respond – they are partner networks of grassroots organisations with an average of more than 100 member organisations that are used to working together with a high quality of response and strong mechanisms in place to ensure children are protected.
This strong base allows them to respond to emergencies like this one. All of our partner networks are responding to Covid 19 – distributing food, disseminating health information, helping projects support children online safely, counselling children and in many other ways. In addition to these local responses Viva is rolling out an overarching global programme across our 38 partner networks, their 4000+ church members, the tens of thousands of staff and volunteers in those churches to the 2 million vulnerable children we all support. Our programme will reach out to vulnerable children and their parents using normal phones or online to support and give six key messages to help keep safe and healthy. We expect this programme to reach hundreds of thousands of children.
The updates that follow from each of our regional teams are informal – please do ask if anything is unclear.
Mark Stavers (CEO) and the entire Viva Family
4th May 2020 Updates:
Asia Partner Networks Updates:
Philippines – The situation in terms of Covid is really widespread, but mostly in the capital. The refugee camps in Mindanao are significantly bad, but the partner network’s radio station on hygiene and updates for dealing with abuse has been very well received.
Nepal – The partner network has been working on food parcels for families most at risk, working with local government to get permissions to do work and support the economic fallout as a result of the shutdown.
Myanmar – The situation is really worrying in Myanmar, the work we do in the refugee camps is seriously under threat, and many of the children’s homes in our partner network are seriously short of food. Covid is massively under reported by the government, with some suggestions that it is rampant especially in the capital. The economy is already struggling because of existing conflict, but this has pushed people over the edge. Existing network members are struggling to support their ministries.
Cambodia – Our partner network is running various campaigns around personal hygiene, providing food parcels for those most in need, and working to develop more meaningful support for children at risk.
India In April 2020, Bangalore, Patna, Hyderabad and Delhi partner networks raised local support to give dry groceries and cash support to over 400 families, benefiting 1100 people (children and adults) living on the margins. In our experience, relief distribution of cooked food has logistical and social distancing challenges. Most of the relief distribution was of dry groceries. Early this week we asked the relief beneficiaries about their financial, emotional well-being and their safety from coronavirus. The main highlights of the responses were:
Please pray for:
- Situation of teenagers – Teens are busy on their phones and devices through the day. Parents are not aware of about preventing pornographic media content and how teens can be safe on social media.
- Situation of children in the age group of 3 to 6 years – Parents are not able to keep these children indoor. Children between 3 to 6 years are not able to practice social distancing.
- Some children don’t have access to online learning – Schools have starting online teaching. Many slum children do not have IT devices (computers, smart phones) and stable internet to participate in online classrooms. They are likely to lag behind in their learning.
- House rent unpaid – The slum lords have delayed their rent collection for the moment. The slum tenants will eventually have to pay the combined rent for a few months, which will be a financial challenge for them.
- Social distancing during relief distribution – Often people rush to snatch food handouts disregarding social distancing. In such situation, the people distributing relief have to save themselves from being accosted by the crowd.
- Belief that coronavirus will not infect – Some slum dwellers feel their bodies are immune to virus infections as they have been living in unhygienic conditions already.
- Theft in the slums – increase in reports of slum dwellers stealing food and dry groceries from each other. This is leading to conflicts between neighbours.
- What is Coronavirus? – Parents cannot explain to children what coronavirus is and why social distancing is necessary.
Updates from Africa Partner Networks:
CRANE – Uganda
- Nakivubo team continues to work hard work and support 180 street connected children
- Food packs/supplies delivered to over 200 families (GECT & CFCC)
- Covid 19 messaging running on radios
- Teaching/media teams to roll out lessons on TV and radio
- SEN child transported to Mbale hospital for a medical attention
- Children resettled in Soroti
- Churches shared covid’19 prevention charts with beneficiary families and leaders in the community as well as helpful contacts by the government (MoH, MoES, MoGLSD, and toll free numbers) and encouraging members to seek assistance from the local and community leaders in case of danger
- Church volunteers visited families in nearby homes to the churches to pray with them
- Encouraged parents and children to communicate in case of need for emergency support or rescue from child abuse
- Churches supported to develop policies starting with the child safeguarding policy
- Teachers planning lessons and designing tools and resources for when schools reopen
- Teachers setting individual children’s education plans
Please pray for:
- For communication as the team try to support young people who do not own phones
- For children whose families cannot be traced and are still stranded in homes that they would all get placements and loving homes to take them in.
- For children that were resettled prior to lockdown to settle in and embrace their families.
- Food shortage reported with many families only eating one meal a day
- Please continue to pray for protection from CV 19 especially for the team working with street connected children
- Director of UCBT (one of the network partners) Rev. Bernard Bogere passed away this week. Please pray for comfort for Rev Bogere’s family and provision during this time.
- Please pray against child labour and that children will be able to go back to school when they open again.
MCAN – Tanzania
- Supporting churches and organisations through Quality Improvement System (QIS)
- Preparing to run the World Weekend of Prayer (WWP)
- Keeping in touch with parents and children through phones and praying with them
Please pray for:
- Pray for the current situation in Tanzania – cases are rapidly increasing but nothing is being done with no lockdown. Current reports are 480 cases with 16 deaths.
- Pray for the safety of children, government plans and churches during this time
VNZ – Zimbabwe
- Boreholes for three community gardens installed and beneficiaries were engaged in a process of clearing land in preparation for sowing. Seeds were procured and planting to start soon.
- Preparing to run the World Weekend of Prayer including translating materials to Shona
- New Life programme with children supported in their education. The partner network is working to cover cost of school fees for 50 children who had dropped out of school
- Churches implementing child friendly churches
- Access to Justice – follow-up of data collection on birth certificates registered as well as cases responded to
- Food Security Project. The partner network is mobilizing local business community members, churches and other willing participants nationally and internationally. Support has so far been secured for 12 children and more will be raised for 38 children.
Please pray for:
- We have got permission from the government to carry on with operations during this lock down period and we request prayers for the safety of our staff members, volunteers and beneficiaries during operations
- We have 50 drop out children we noted to be in very difficult circumstances and we request for 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 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
- Training churches in QIS Child Protection mentoring
- 24/7 prayer and fasting group
Please pray for:
- Safety and Protection of everyone from Covid 19
- There is a food shortage – pray for provision for families
- Would particularly value prayer as they head into the next phase of leadership transition, and Grace now fully takes over the reigns. Pray for God’s ongoing guidance, wisdom and provision. As a partner network, they are focusing on keeping supporting organizations with their child protection needs, but are also continually assessing needs and supporting where possible, in terms of getting resources to them.
Updates from Latin America:
Summary of the monthly report of Latin-American team
- Building plans to help each partner network achieve Viva sustainability benchmark
- Supporting partner network coordinators in planning and action of emergency response
- Meetings with local agencies, government, World Vision, Lutheran Church, Child Fund, Tearfund, Samaritan Purse, and Evangelical Alliance to promote the Community Centre in Costa Rica
- WWP – We are preparing online, but we believe in June some countries could have opened the church
- Communications strategic activities:
- In association with the Movement for Children and Youth, we produced 3 chapters on Healthy Families during the pandemic (#1. The good treatment of children, #2. Family conflict resolution the good treatment of children and #3. Coexistence without violence during the pandemic), we had particular participation in the second chapter on “Family Conflict Resolution during the pandemic”. It was broadcast on Facebook and more than 100 people connected throughout the region, and beyond including Spain and USA. The materials have been downloaded more than 300 times.
- 39 days praying together with 11 countries and 12-18 people connected each day.
- Production of materials to promote the work of the partner networks:
- Book to be put online (iBooks, Amazon, etc.) “Viva tells his story”
- Magazine on the partner networks and the pandemic will be published in May
- The Inter-American Children’s Institute (part of the Organization of American States) organized a forum for this Thursday, April 30, on the role of Child Protection Systems, the Ñemby case – a model of good practice. Isaac will be representing Viva.
Partner Network Specific Updates:
México: Funding to start Community Centre for Covid-19 Emergency response in Mexico on 1st May.
Guatemala: Distributed food and hygiene items to 30 families, 15 of the families live in the cemetery and 15 from the Church Ciudad Real part of the partner network, the scope of families will be around 500 families through the network but making local mobilization with individual donors we are reaching 30 by now. *Cemetery families are struggling because people are not visiting the cemeteries and they base their economy on the money they ask from the visitors for flowers and grave. Many now have no money for food. The partner network is trying to support them and Viva´s team is building partnership to invest in this population.
El Salvador: Agreement with Convoy of Hope to continue distributing food to 1,474 children and this emergency response we are including distribution of food for 25 pastor leaders from vulnerable communities in San Salvador, for the next 3 months. They are following the sanitary directions from the Health Ministry.
Honduras: Distribution of food to 200 with parents unemployed by the crisis of Covid-19 and also supporting 50 shelters with food because they are have restricted resources from other organizations living in crisis. Viva´s team is supporting the partner network coordinator Maria to use the Strategy of the Community Centre, so they can also follow up with children and families and consider future impact on education and employment.
Nicaragua: Developed 3 month partner network development action plan, as well as the family support project that they are working on. The strategy includes Child Protection Policies and establish a group of 5 champions of Protection to support 8 partner network members that want to start their own CPP, good start points as collaborative actions for partner network and keep the momentum of the partner network.
- 314 families are receiving food from the partner network during the emergency. The network is trying to find additional resources to support an unreached group of 1,100 families
- 40 elders are receiving food from 3 churches that are working together and walking inside communities find them with fear and no resources or option to go out for food.
- 1 church project distributing food to 27 children from a vulnerable community where the spread of the covid-19 virus has started. Numbers have grown from 15 children because the lack of employment make the children visit the churches asking for food.
- Promoting health care in home through the 70 churches and organizations in 2% printed resources and 98% online materials
- Changing the Feeding Centre system so that food distribution meets new Government requirements.
- 1 partner network member producing chlorine hygiene products and masks, in negotiation with a chlorine producing company. Allowing 5 women in the community to have work. Have a proposal to produce 800 masks and 200 gallons of chlorine for 200 pastors to distribute in communities
Panamá: The partner network is running a food bank, in addition gel alcohol, toilet paper and other cleaning supplies. It was distributed to 2 thousand relatives of positive patients and prevention education was also given. Other contacts have been made to add to the food bank with the Catholic Church, the government and other local entities.
Cuba: The partner network decided to start the Good Treatment Campaign with families because of increasing cases of domestic violence against the children. Through the campaign, 143 families are reaching the 6 cities where the partner network has influence, with the support of the leadership of the Nazarene Church. They walk for many hours, each team was assigned a zone, a day and a specific time to visit, to keep the distance suggested by the Ministry of Health. It is necessary to highlight the effort they are making without having access to Wi-Fi and with limited access to prepaid cell phones. Plus, they are identifying the families with basics need and starting to contact supporters to help.
Dominican Republic: Supporting 75 families and 114 children with food, pastoral support and health education.
- In agreement with the government, the partner network has a food collection center for families in the community
- The partner network is developing its 3 year strategic plan
- Distribution of food and the online care program, production of materials for churches and support for children, more than a thousand servers distributing food for the neediest families, the Bible, tools with principles of coexistence in family and good treatment.
- Times of prayer and ministry to leaders. In addition, actions to support migrants who are on the border with the support of the Council of Churches have been promoted on the border with Colombia.
- The partner network is currently executing a project with the financial support from Canadian Samaritan Purse on entrepreneurship and development of micro-enterprises. With this project they directly benefit 15 families, and the project will provide long term support.
- Provided pastoral support to couples, as well as parents, in this context of confinement. They have also helped these families to overcome this desperation for finances, helping adults to lower their stress level.
- Used social networks to promote messages for family unity, and harmony in confinement.
- On social networks, they continue with the program about the prevention of child abuse in home and online. Protection against grooming, sexting, and that reach great impact into their following.
- Work has been done with the Ñemby Partner Network in agreement with four sectors: Churches, Government, Civil Society and private companies for emergency care, and together with the Association of Evangelical Pastors of Paraguay, “APEP” of Ñemby has benefited more than 500 families linked to partner network members directly affected by the pandemic, with delivery of large food boxes for one month.
- Together with the local government and businessmen in the city, 300 more families have benefited.
- Worked with churches and community organizations donating food to cook “popular pots” for poorer sectors. 255 families benefited from this community service.
- Helping families affected by the pandemic to get the help offered by the government, with volunteers helping 25 families through the online application
- Working with the Coordinator for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in advocacy to promote strategies for the prevention of violence in the homes, effective care of cases and prompt access to justice in cases of abuse, as well as social assistance and guaranteeing good nutrition and quality education for children and adolescents. The partner network is part of the table for the defense of children’s rights in the city and at the national level. The group succeeded in stopping the child protection offices from being closed due to the pandemic.
- New joint project for the voice of children to be heard in the context of COVID 19
- This new partner network is becoming known as an organization for the protection of vulnerable children in contexts, including churches, schools and in part of the legal system.
- Within this quarantine context they are hearing from people who identify cases of abuse and violence and who do not know what to do. They talk to the adult or person who feels responsible and advise them to step by step with the complaint and the legal system.
- They are preparing a virtual platform that they will use to carry out learning meetings on child and adolescent protection policies, online protection and other good treatment tools.
- Prepare a new project for the prevention of violence in home against children through a virtual platform.
Bolivia: The country is on a strict lockdown with people not permitted to leave their houses. Sadly, the spouse of a programme director was one of the first people in the country to die from covid-19. Please pray for the partner network staff and families affected. The country still has just over a week of quarantine before it gradually begins to reactivate.