Covid-19 has plunged the world into crises and impacted all our programs, but OneSky staff have been incredible during these difficult times. So we turned to them for inspiration that things will improve … and we found it!
Those who were already vulnerable are now even more at risk – from the children of rural migrant workers in Vietnam to kids locked down in Hong Kong’s tiny subdivided apartments. And, while Mongolia is winning the war against Covid-19, it is yet another burden on the children living in poverty in the capital’s urban gher districts.
Our China colleagues have endured the impact of Covid-19 and the limitations of lockdown the longest so we asked them for just one piece of good news to boost spirits…
And they amazed us with FIVE!
ONE: OneSky’s Village Program is better than back to normal.
There was a silver lining for China’s rural kids when lockdown began after the Lunar New Year celebrations. Normally, this is the only time of year when mom and dad are home from working in city factories. This year’s lockdown meant their break was the longest ever.
OneSky’s Family Mentors were on hand to advise – forwarding online activities to entertain kids stuck-at-home. While the end of lockdown saw parents say their goodbyes, OneSky Family Mentors have reported that life is back to normal with children able to leave home at last and return to school.
In fact, this summer, OneSky was able to train 44 government child-welfare directors on the OneSky Approach. This was followed by OneSky teachers and mentors from 18 villages discussing caring for youths. Lessons learned on topics included education, crime, drug prevention were passed to local youths.
TWO: Most of China’s orphanages are back to normal.
Although 13 orphanages are still implementing a closed-system response due to Covid-19, most are back to normal. During lockdown many OneSky staff stayed in welfare institutions for up to two weeks, ensuring consistent love and care, and never allowing the children to suffer as a result of the pandemic.
THREE: Online Learning meant teaching the OneSky Approach never stopped.
Even as the lockdown across China prevented in-class training, OneSky continued to engage caregivers through our online training platform 1JiaRen (OneBigFamily). Launched eight years ago, our online community connects trainers and caregivers across China, providing ongoing professional development, sharing of experiences and learnings and support to those caregivers working remotely.
A total of 85 training sessions benefitted OneSky caregivers from March to July. And, while online learning is ongoing on-site training resumed in August, bringing our trainers and caregivers back together at last.
FOUR: “Happy Leisure Time” brings love and care until lights out!
Love doesn’t stop for lockdown. In fact, in one China orphanage a OneSky-trained caregiver made sure that the love and fun increased…and “Happy Leisure Time” was born!
Filling their days and also their evenings with fun activities, when teachers went home and children retired to their rooms, they could be heard singing and laughing.
“Each night different activities take the children right up until lights out,” an orphanage director told us.
FIVE: Teams have become even stronger.
We asked Child Development Trainer Guo Yangqin how much 2020 has taken its toll on caregivers. She responded:
“We constantly ensure that our mentors give support to the caregivers in devising activities and helping them cope with new demands on them. But now we’re hearing of caregivers devising their own team building activities.”
Happy, skilled, dedicated caregivers mean children grow up feeling loved, cared for and better able to form relationships and attachment, knowing their lives are valued.
With so much uncertainty this year, the one thing that remains consistent is OneSky’s unrelenting focus on providing loving, nurturing care for vulnerable children. And we have our amazing colleagues and staff to thank for this…as well as global supporters who never give up hope.