Nov 10, 2020

WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF SAFE SPACES

 

Since lockdowns first began in April of 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were fearful that domestic abuse victims would have been at additional peril because of the limited number of safe spaces and services provided even during normal times. While we sounded the alarm prior and during calls to stay home regarding the potential increase cases of intimate partner violence no attention was given to the matter by central government, now, those fears are coming to fruition. Reports of domestic violence have spiked in many communities and women and children have no additional resources to access. 

We do not have the necessary capacity as an NGO to house all those who request help, therefore in our daily interventions with victims who still reside in the same dwelling as their abusers we encounter:

  • Abusers attempt to further isolate and control victims;
  • Abusers frighten victims by promoting fear of contracting COVID-19 if the victims seeks help outside the home;
  • State Shelters are full and unable to assist victims most of the time;
  • Victims also expressed fear of going into shelters for fear of being exposed to COVID-19;
  • Restrictions ennacted due to COVID-19 impacts victim’s escape and safety plan.

We work with victims who we cannot house due to limited capacity by

  • Assisting victims to create a safety plan to outline ways to remain safe while they are in the same space as their abuser
  • An escapte plan if they have alternative shelter and are planning to leave
  • We provide assistance to them if they get alternate shelter by providing food and in some cases utilites and short term rental support;
  • We encourage self-care as much as possible, such as meditation, music, etc 
  • We maintain constant daily contacts and we encourage social connections through phone calls, texts, emails, and social media platforms as much as is practicable.

The pandemic has limited our ability to arrange fundraising activities and it is practically impossible to acquire additional rented space on our current budgets. More donations will allow us to  do so but we cannot prevail without your help and donations.

Nov 10, 2020

SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN ARE MORE AT RISK NOW

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered many changes in the home, at school and accessing services, from April 2020—some major, like learning remotely from home, and some minor, like sitting farther apart on the school bus or in the class room. While most students have had routines interrupted, the children perhaps most affected by that disruption are special education students.

Generally special needs children and their families depend on a structured routine—and that’s gone. It’s now parents who must establish that routine, and there is no prescription for what that looks like in during COVID-19 and beyond.

As a result, both parents and  special needs children have struggled through a trial-and-error process to find what works—and what doesn’t—to encourage their children to engage with virtual education and/or in-person education is more difficult and different than it did before COVID-19.

While parents who are marginalized and could not get daycare, school and full time jobs were already struggling this is another war for survival. Parents now have become the school, the teachers, the lunch monitors, the school nurse, the recess monitor, and now they’re also becoming the researcher as they try out different routines and these varying roles has been incredibly stressful for both parents and child.

A lot of the questions that parents and guardians have is where do I get help and assistance with basic things such as food, disposable diapers, formula, etc. Parents of special needs children have been consistently and completely overwhelmed from working, juggling the school from home and work from home balance is very, very difficult for them coupled with economic hardships made worst by COVID-19

In dealing with this whole cascading nightmare where many parents felt they didn’t have any assistance from state agencies  while historically many schools and other state agencies provided very little in terms of special education or services parents are dealing with lack of basic items.

This is a double-edged sword. This is giving special needs parents a much bigger burden, it’s tough for all parents right now, but it’s even tougher for parents of children with special needs.

You donation will help a small number of special needs children get basic items and we thank you.

Over the last 8 months we have provided food, disposible diapers and clothing to 9 families with special needs children and we want to continue supporting them and more. 

Oct 21, 2020

COVID-19 MAKING FEEDING FAMILY IMPOSSIBLE

Packaging Food Parcels for People of Choiseul
Packaging Food Parcels for People of Choiseul

Since Covid-19 in early 2020 we have not had an opportunity to organize any fundraising but the demand for support services and material help such as food, disposible diapers, milk, formula, clothes, etc and educational support for back to school from women and children has increased exponentially.

We cannot assist if we do not get assistance from donors like you, your friends and your family. The COVID-19 health crisis has caused a tremendous spike in incidents of abuse as women are afraid to report due to the many restrictions instituted and the threats from pepretrators . Even as lockdown restrictions are lifted, we know that the abuse will not merely end, that this remains a critical time for survivors and that education, awareness, and bystander intervention are desperately needed including food and basic items for survival.

Women & Girls who are always tasked of maintaining the household i.e. provide food, clean, wash, send children to school and take care of the medical needs of elders, siblings and children deserve access to services and support inclusvie of food, utilities, rent, medical, educational, etc.

Also providing systems to avoid and minimize potential physical and sexual violence is very important. However, COVID-19 has caused a rise in cases of sexual and domestic violence as socioeconomic disparities are widening, schools are still closed, curfews and travel restrictions are policed, women and girls are forced to work and shelter in unsafe places—some are sheltering in place with their perpetrators.

Our women, girls and their families have been disproportionately affected by this global pandemic which is requiring us to do more to assist and prevent violence against women and girls but also ensure they can survive by providing food, shelter, utilities, medical and educational help.

Help us help them by donating! 

To date we have assisted over 1500 households with food and support services for victims of gender based violence. 

Volunteers distributed food supplies in Choiseul
Volunteers distributed food supplies in Choiseul
 
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