The day when entire nation is celebrating Children’s Day today, the pandemic that hit hard during second Covid-19 wave left a large number of children abandoned and they were the first to get affected during that crisis.
While the pandemic was an extremely difficult time for a large number of people, it was worse for vulnerable communities and children.
However, in order to minimize the impact of challenges, solutions, across programs, were designed and implemented as part of the program by the SOS Children’s Villages of India.
Short Stay Homes welcomed children who had lost their parents; communities, children impacted by the pandemic, were supported with dry ration/cooked food (community kitchens), hygiene, and medical kits; digital media was used extensively to generate awareness about the COVID-19 prevention protocols.
“Besides, children and youth remained in touch with their education via online classes, along with tutors pan India to support prevention of any gaps in learning,” stated the spokesperson.
Many of the children at SOS Children’s Villages Khajuri Kalan who needed regular physiotherapy received the same via remote online, video consultations, and assessments, said the spokesperson.
This prevented disruption of essential physiotherapy services. What was also essential was to break down mental barriers of the communities towards vaccinations.
“Therefore, one of the initial steps taken by the Family Strengthening team was to organize vaccination camps, with the help of the local health authorities, and mobilise people to get vaccinated,” added the spokesperson.
In agreement with the Heath Department of Kerala, and under the National Rural Health Mission, a COVID FirstLine Treatment Center was set up where a child friendly space was created for children, whose parents were admitted in the hospital for treatment and had no place to go, were welcomed.
The spokesperson further informed, “With the help of two nurses engaged by SOS Children’s Villages of India, the children were engrossed in several activities throughout the day to keep them productively engaged.”
Apart from the extra-curricular activities, nutrition support was also provided to children to build up their immunity.
During the lockdown, to keep the children engaged with activities, SOS mothers played a pivotal role in engaging with children in various indoor activities like indoor play, storytelling, storybook reading, drawing, painting, crafts.
“These activities helped our children to overcome trauma and follow the strict Covid protocol,” added the spokesperson.
“Our focus was more on community rehabilitation of children and we are extending our hand to more than 650 children who lost single parents through our family strengthening program,” said the spokesperson.