June 3 2020

Giving a Work Continuity Via Digital Technology

The spread of COVID-19 and the unprecedented lockdown to prevent the spread of the disease has affected on all facets of life throughout the world. The Government of Nepal announced Lockdown from 24th March, 2020 as a preventive measure amid Corona Virus. Since then, SOS Children’s Villages Nepal has changed its work pattern to Work from Home in order to give continuity to provide quality care to children and young people.

The physical safety and emotional well-being of the children and young people under the care of SOS Children’s Villages Nepal is the foremost priority. In order to better understand the situation of the children and young people and protect them from possible harm in this challenging time, as they are staying 24X7 inside the family house, virtual meetings are being conducted with the National Child Club members in the presence of project directors and the National Child Safeguarding Focal person. It has provided an opportunity for the children to share their concerns directly.

“After the lockdown, I have been attending child safeguarding’s virtual meetings through Microsoft Teams. I got an opportunity to explain about how we are living in the premises of the Village. It has been a platform to express feelings and exchange ideas. Similarly, I also got an opportunity to represent all the children like me with the concerned stakeholders via Skype in one of the Television Channels of Nepal in a group discussion. It was a good platform to express my opinion. I have built self-confidence,” shares Pratikshya Poudel, President of the National Child Club of SOS Children’s Villages Nepal.

Further, she adds, “Before, I have used social media. However, I was unaware about virtual meeting. Now, I can freely use Microsoft Teams and Skype and do a presentation in a virtual world. It has also enhanced my digital skills”.

The counselors, SOS Mothers and aunts have been receiving orientations for the physical, mental and emotional well-being through digital platforms like Microsoft teams to handle children’s and young people’s curiosity and anxiety, in this situation, more effectively.

“The corona virus pandemic and travel restrictions has restricted face to face meetings. In this situation, digital technology has become a staple to connect with children in the villages. We have a National Child Club Network of ten Children’s Villages of Nepal. The representatives of the club share situation of children in their respective location through Microsoft Teams. They mentioned about their wonderful involvement in various activities during this lockdown. Their sharing ensures us that children have not become the hidden victims of this pandemic”, shares Ms. Reshma Shrestha, National Child Safeguarding Focal Person.

Furthermore, the virtual mode has been widely used by the youth leaders to get connected with the young people who are living in and out of Nepal to provide them emotional and moral support.

In addition to this, SOS Children’s Villages Nepal conducted four days virtual Annual Meeting of Senior Coworkers with 47 participants including National Director by using Microsoft Teams. The Inaugural session was attended by Dr. Jyoti Ratna Dhakhwa, President of SOS Children’s Villages Nepal and Mr. Rajneesh Jain, CVI Representative. They delivered keynote address and inaugural address respectively.

Likewise, 94th Board Meeting was conducted virtually including Ms. Shubha Murthi, Deputy COO and Mr. Rajneesh Jain, CVI Representative. They provided their support and words of encouragement.

Similarly, the meetings of National Management Team (NMT) members are being conducted on weekly basis; and the meetings of the Principals, the National Office coworkers, the Youth Care leaders and the Family Strengthening (FS) coordinators are being conducted once in two weeks in order to extend regular support, keep in touch and share experiences, updates and concerns.

“We already have well setup ICT infrastructure in our program locations. Under the leadership of our National Director, all the staff of National Office are being connected virtually to all the program locations more intensively in this pandemic than before. Especially the residential colleagues in program locations who have critical role during COVID-19 are coping up with the situation easily to keep children and young people physically and mentally safe and sound. Family bond in the program locations and the solidarity among the staff has become stronger. It’s because we did campaign for innumerous interactions in virtual mode”, says Mr. Seetaram Subedi, Head of ICT, Communication and Local Sp