The work at Clowns Without Borders South Africa has advanced in leaps and bounds throughout 2020, even though many projects and all travel came to a standstill in March. We experienced a similar COVID19 lockdown as many other countries around the world and put in place procedures and policies to ensure safety of our staff, as well as following national regulations and advice of countries we were capacity building in. We acknowledged also challenges facing many families and vulnerable children in terms of child protection, domestic abuse, limited psychosocial support and sickness. This sense of solidarity has motivated the CWBSA team to develop and pilot test new approaches to the way we work, in order that we can reach parents, caregivers, children and adolescents around the world who may be experiencing trauma and suffering.
In May, the CWBSA training team began to translate the Parenting for Lifelong Health programmes into a virtual 5-day capacity building module. We have been lucky to have partners around the world who have been interested and committed to testing this opportunity. To date, we have capacity-built facilitators in Zambia, Botswana, and Malawi with great success; South Sudan and South Africa will be the next locations. In terms of financial and environmental sustainability, this approach will continue to be developed into 2021, either as stand alone or in combination with face to face training.
CWBSA has had the privilege to be involved in an COIVD19 emergency response project http://covid19parenting.com/#/home supported by an impressive group of stakeholders including UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund, the LEGO Foundation, the philanthropic donors to the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 Research Response Fund, Oak Foundation, and the UKRI GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents (Accelerate) Hub. Parenting for Lifelong Health provides open access online resources during the pandemic with partners such as World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UNDOC, the Global Partnership to End Violence, World Childhood Foundation, and Internet of Good Things. CWBSA has been involved in two working groups – content development led by Annabel and Edward Morgan, as well as the dissemination working group involving CWBSA staff. The content development team were joined by CWBSA staff and artists Matthew Stuurman, Neha Vyas (CWB India), Arthur Toyoshima (CWB Brazil), Samantha Holdsworth (CWB UK) Sussie Mjwara and Sipho Mdletshe, who created several video and audio recordings focusing on tips and guidance for parents.
In terms of digital technology, the development and testing of two research projects – the PLH app and ePLH, Rapid Pro are ongoing. If you are interested in learning more about any of these initiatives, please contact Co Director, Suzan Eriksson email@example.com