Helping families build resilience to get through the pandemic
The devastating second wave of the pandemic continues to impact vulnerable children and families that we support. Hear from Evelyne Nanteza, our Manager in Tororo how our social workers have stepped in to help families build resilience and ensure that children remain safe and get through the second wave of the pandemic.
How are you supporting families during this 2nd COVID19 wave?
Most of the families we support are vulnerable. The pandemic has put even more pressure on these families, putting children at risk of separation. There is tremendous stress on families, mental health concerns, anxiety, fatigue during this period as families are struggling to provide for their families. Children have also been greatly affected due to prolonged time out of school.
Supporting and building the resilience of families and children remains our utmost priority during this second wave of the COVID19 pandemic. Through our trained community volunteers, we are providing psychosocial support to families, talking and listening to them, referring and linking them to available government services like hospitals where they can get medical attention and letting them know that we are here for them and we will support them.
We are also talking and listening to families during these uncertain times. Words of encouragement mean a lot to the parents feeling stressed or unsure. We are encouraging parents to spend more time with children and involve them in major family discussions to understand what their interests are and how they feel.
How are you collaborating with community volunteers?
Through our social workers, we are keeping in touch with our community volunteers through regular phone calls to check in on them, find out how they are doing and encouraging them to continue supporting families in their communities. They are sensitizing families to keep safe by washing their hands, wearing a mask and socially distancing themselves. They are linking families in need within their communities to government social services such as medical services.
They have been instrumental in helping us identify emergency cases in the community, especially of vulnerable babies in need of formula milk, families that need emergency food and medical support which we have been able to provide.
How are you working together with local government officials to support families?
The lockdown has led to an increase in Gender-Based Violence as well as domestic violence. We are working closely with Government officials like the Probation and Social Welfare Officers and the police to refer these cases to them for quick intervention.