The beginning of our 2020 program classes was simultaneous with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in Argentina. We established with enthusiasm teams for each site in Barrio 31, formed by professionals from different disciplines, but we had to look for other strategies to face the school year.
First of all, we contacted the families involved in 2019 school program, who confirmed their participation in 95%. The great majority referred to WhatsApp as the most accessible application to use. At the same time, we noticed that there is a lack of accessibility to Wi-Fi and mobile data. Besides, most of the families share one Cellphone and they don´t have other devices. Regarding this, we made procedures in the context of the educational campaign that provides equipment for children.
In April formal classes began twice a week with a length of 3 hours, dividing the encounter/meeting in two periods. In the first one, we work as a group with specific objectives and recreational activities to create an environment that helps reducing stress due to isolation. In the other period, the approach is individual, following the students’ needs in the resolution of homework. The main inconvenience was to establish a bond with adults in charge. So we kept in contact releasing data of interest and managing resources that they might need.
Subsequently, we approach with different strategies the promotion and protection of rights, such as the right to play, to have a family, to equal treatment and the right to express their opinion. We also talk about care, preventive measures and information related to COVID-19. Furthermore, it was crucial to support and assist the families in this context, which may affect their emotional impact due to the confinement. For this reason, one of our objectives during the school year is to provide information about Sexual Education.
On the other hand, the Barrio 31 is being affected by the pandemic because it is frequent to see families sharing one room without a toilet or kitchen and they don´t have access to water. The results are chronic diseases related to their living conditions. Besides, these families have problems to reach a healthy diet or buying supplies such as sanitizers items. From Mensajeros de la Paz an important fundraising campaign was carried out, allowing to buy cleaning and sanitation supplies. Additionally, food from the basic basket was managed and distributed between 25 families.
After some months of hard work and measuring the impact of our program, we assess the results in Barrio 31 extremely positive. The functionality allows children to keep community bonds and union between them, which is vital in these times of socio-economic crisis.
That´s why we want to thank the support we received from you to help, in these crucial times, children and their families.