The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone including vulnerable children and youth who are MiPequeñaAyuda – MySmallHelp Peru’s main target groups. Peru is currently surviving the worst crisis of all times since the appearance of the Influenza virus, which particularly affects vulnerable populations within our society, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions.
In MySmallHelp Peru, we understand that these are challenging and tough times for families as well as for organizations and volunteers that are trying to help others in the best way they can during this pandemic. Therefore, it’s crucial that civil society organizations, politicians and private and public stakeholders comprehend how children and youth in this situation of vulnerability are facing the actual pandemic in order to adequately support them during and after the crisis.
In our case, we put our maximum efforts to continue developing our programs and supporting our beneficiaries during these exceptional circumstances. For this reason, it has been necessary the individual accompaniment and a sustained telephonic support to each beneficiary family and the community presidents of the communities that we support, since the Peruvian government announced the total social isolation on March 16th, 2020. We suspended our external activities in order to protect the health of our staff, communities and beneficiary families. However, we never stopped communicating with them and monitoring their well-being and how they were facing the pandemic on an individual and collective levels. Furthermore, to clarify their doubts, making sure they were feeling well and to explain better about COVID-19 given that many families were unable to comprehend all the information that circulated on the media.
On the other hand, we had to evaluate alternate ways so that children were able to continue studying despite the limitations they confronted and to come up with innovative solutions to accompany them during their educational process. We are still evaluating new ways to resume our regular activities in the short and mid-term, analyzing how our activities should be carried out and even if they should be reprogrammed, postponed or redefined if needed. We have been flexible with our approach and we look forward to responding to any circumstance or necessity that could arise in the future.
Given this, together, we have been able to surpass obstacles and misinformation in our way. Knowing that everyone was taking care of themselves and that the communities had closed their entrance routes in order to care for each other and their families filled us with joy and satisfaction. The communities started spreading out the safety protocols such as the importance of regular hand washing, frequent usage of alcohol to disinfect their belongings and they started teaching each other. If one of the community members presented symptoms, they would let their health center know immediately in order to avoid spreading of the virus and treat the disease on time.
We thank all our beneficiaries for their huge efforts to ensure their children’s and family’s safety during these challenging times that we all face. Also, we are incredibly grateful that they continue to trust us to continue working together and help each other out like the family that we are.