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How have our partners adapted their work during the lockdown?

 

How have our partners adapted their work during the lockdown?

"Time of COVID-19, time to grow", is a quote from one of the teenagers who is part of our partner CRAN’s project, for whom this lockdown has become a test of strength, in which their hopes and dreams help motivate them through this challenging time.

The lockdown has presented several challenges to our partners’ work with the children and young people that take part in their projects. Fortunately, our partners have found ways to continue their work remotely with the implementation of virtual tools and alternative methods of communication such as telephone calls, instant messaging services and social networks.

They are able to continue providing psycho-social support and carrying out an ongoing evaluation of the children’s physical and mental wellbeing as well as of their family’s situation with regular phone call check-ups.

Our partners have also designed home-based tasks and activities so that the children can continue learning, acquiring new skills and developing values whilst having fun with their families. Our partner CRAN’s activities focus on the expression of feelings and the strengthening of coping tools, emphasizing values of solidarity and kindness within their foster homes. While our partner ACJ promotes play as an important tool for learning, family bonding and managing emotions.

 

Diana Sofía (left) and Luisa Fernanda (right) work at the project of our partner CRAN

 

Luisa Fernanda, Psychologist at CRAN

"It is difficult when your routines are changed, when you have to look for new strategies to reach people, when you have to reform your established way of doing things it so that it continues to generate the impact that has been achieved so far. At the beginning of the lockdown there was fear, more fear than there is now, fear of the unknown, fear of thinking about what to do, fear of change, fear of failure, but what matters is not to keep that emotion, but to take it as an impulse to continue and give others that peace of mind they need at this time.

From my experience as a psychologist it has been a challenge, since at times I have felt perhaps despair and hopelessness, but then I remember that I am the support of many, especially of those adolescents and young people, who continue to dream and seek to change their life story, who do not stop fighting, but need words of encouragement and to be heard to transform their feelings and emotions. It has also been an experience of cooperation and trust, since, in spite of the distance, I have been able to get to know their most intimate fears, their personalities and their real way of facing difficult situations.

I have learned that gestures of listening and showing empathy, offering other ways of seeing the situation, helping the children and adolescents to keep calm, to continue dreaming and above all learn new things, are key to facing this challenge. There is still fear, but mixed with hope and satisfaction, because we are able to continue our work, from a mobile phone, spreading calmness, hugs and smiles from a distance."

 

Diana Sofía, Social worker at CRAN

"For me, working from home in this quarantine has been a process of really connecting with the essence of my work with the children, adolescents and young people participating in the project, recognizing the importance I have in their lives at this time and how, in a video call, I can get closer to their dreams, goals and all the moments that they live day by day with their foster families. It has also allowed me to realize how wonderful it is to be greeted with effusiveness, a smile, a laugh, a word of encouragement and a calm “here I am”, hoping that soon we will be able to hug again and share the warmth that makes us so human.

It has also allowed me to realize the importance of the emotional well-being of the foster mothers. These women who each day wake up not only thinking about the well-being of their family, but also of the children, adolescents and young people who are in their homes, and how this situation has faciliated moments of active listening to their day to day, not only in their role as guardian, but also as wife, mother, daughter, sister.

For me, these times will bring very good things, and I remain convinced that, in spite of the distance, we have managed to get closer, not only on a professional level, but on a personal one. I remain convinced that with love and responsibility we will continue to achieve very beautiful things together for each child, adolescent and young person throughout this crisis."

 

 


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