Our head trainer, Poy, on Zoom
Thailand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been swift and determined, resulting in a relatively a small number of cases and deaths. From April to December, the daily rate of new COVID infections was usually less than ten cases a day. Before the start of the New Year break, we drew up plans for 2021, which included delivering training workshops to the 77 ‘shelters for children and families’ across the country, over 31 weeks of the year.
There shelters are often the first point of contact for children when they enter the care system and provide a vital service for children in moments when they're desperate for support. If the shelter is unable to send the child back home to their family or find relatives to care for the child, it is very likely that the child will be sent to a government orphanage where they may remain for a long period of time. Therefore, our goal is train them in foster care, so that they can place children into safe, stable, and nurturing family environments, rather than into long-term insttitonal care.
In order to complete this training, we divided the 71 provinces into eight regions and the team had planned on being on the road a lot! However after a spike in infections in December, we had to rethink our plans. Virtual training seems to be the answer. While many of us can take pride that we acquired some Zoom skills in 2020, not everyone has done so, so training via Zoom seems rather daunting. We are hugely grateful for all the tutorials on YouTube and with lots of trial and error we are trying to learn how we might pull this off.
Our head trainer, Poy, reached out to some of the people from the Shelters who had been part of our training last year, to be our ‘Zoom training guinea pigs’. We all joined online for a Foster Care Zoom Training Masterclass! It was a fun hour and needless to say there were lots of echoes of “you’re on mute” and “I can’t find the chat box”.
We are now preparing to start virtual training this month. We are hoping that by July we can resume in-person training, if the situation permits.
This epidemic has affirmed that children are better off in families, rather than in orphanages. If you would consider supporting us again in the future, we would be extremely appreciative. Thank you for staying connected to our work.
A practice Zoom training session