Innovations to the COVID Workshops
We have redesigned the COVID workshops such that more children and families can benefit. For the past three months, COVID education is provided in two additional locations within the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. The local municipality and churches are partnering with our team to provide information on COVID prevention and safety and to give the children an opportunity to learn and play in a safe environment. In addition, families are counseled on issues pertaining to HIV, COVID, TB, and the child’s mental and physical development. The goal of these workshops is to educate families regarding COVID, and HIV prevention. Children learn and play via educational games in a safe environment. For example, children are encouraged to express themselves freely and share their views on the pandemic through writing, drawing, or conversation. In addition, they learn about the importance of frequent hand washing with soap, and the proper way to use masks. Masks and a small snack are provided.
A testimonial: One of the participants of this workshop, a child’s grandmother, related her experience as follows: “From the time my daughter died, my grandson has been sick and not active like the other child hence I was wondering what could be the problem with my grandson”, she said. “After attending “Safe Park” workshop and hearing about covid-19, HIV and others issues that affect children I come home and got the courage to take the child to the hospital. From the teaching I learnt that it is important to know one’s HIV-AIDS status. I remembered that my late daughter who was the mother of the grandchildren under my care had died of HIV/AIDS. I immediately told the health worker to do an HIV test on my grandchild which come out positive. I did not go back home straight I went to Matero Care Center where they welcomed me very well. I explained to the child and youth care worker and the child was put on the program and hence was encouraged to take the other child who seemed to be very fine. I did like I was told the test come out positive too. I am very thankful for the organization for lightening the burden and indeed like they say without knowledge people perish”, she said.
We plan to continue to keep communities informed about COVID, so that families can stay healthy, and children can attend school.
Thanks for keeping children and families healthy and safe from COVID.