Thanks to the support of our donors, including a very generous gift from the congregation of Floris UMC, the CRC was able to provide emergency food supplies to families that have been made even more vulnerable by the COVID pandemic. "Most parents have lost their source of income to support their homes," CRC Director Olivia Fonnie said. The CRC provided hundreds of needy families with rice, cooking oil, onions, and Maggi seasoning cubes, the staple foods for most lower income Sierra Leone families.
In addition to helping families in Bo, the CRC case managers brought supplies to families in Fengehun, Manguama, Yamandu, Mattru on the Rail, and Sami villages.
The majority of Sierra Leonean households spend most of their income on food, and the COVID containment measures have created real hardship for the vulnerable families served by the CRC. Even before COVID-19, experts projected that more than a million Sierra Leoneans would face severe acute food insecurity this year (Source: reliefweb.int.) The One Campaign estimates that 12,000 people per day across the globe could die from hunger linked to the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 by the end of this year. You can support our COVID response by donating here.
CRC Director Olivia Fonnie and the case managers have been participating in the Trust Based Relationship Intervention course to help them become better child welfare professionals and caregivers for vulnerable children and youth. The TBRI course is currently being offered online for free by the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, so the CRC is taking advantage of the opportunity to gain critical skills. Karyn Purvis, an internationally renowned child development expert and passionate advocate for vulnerable children created this curriculum to train professionals who work in a variety of caregiving contexts, including foster homes, residential settings, court rooms and classrooms. So far, seven of the CRC case managers have participated in the coursework to earn TBRI certification.
CRC collaborating to rescue street children, coach orphanages on family reintegration
1MILLIONHOME/HCW Family Reunification Workshop
HCW, 1MILLIONHOME and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) are collaborating to hold a reintegration/transition workshop for orphanage directors, child welfare program leaders, and government officials from West Africa.
The workshop will be held in Freetown in Fall 2020. Program Development Director Laura Horvath describes the event as a hands-on workshop designed to equip participants with the tools they need to begin their own transition from institutional to family-based care, as recommended by the United Nations. (Read more about family reintegration here.)
MSWGCA Minister Mabinty Tarawallie will host a nationwide meeting with all registered child protection organizations to encourage attendance at the 1MILLIONHOME/HCW workshop. The CRC will be highlighted as a trailblazer in the movement to reintegrate children with their family of birth or a foster family.
Collaboration with Street Child to rescue abandoned children
The CRC staff have been collaborating with Street Child to provide interim care for abandoned children while their families are traced and prepared for reintegration. Street Child has a long history in Sierra Leone providing short term and emergency care to homeless children. "I am very excited about the CRC taking the lead to work side by side to get children off the streets, Child Welfare Programs Liaison Mohamed Nabieu says. "The MSW Minister's goal is to take 1,000 kids off the streets by the end of this year, and she would be working with the CRC to support her goal."
The CRC continues to build a robust case management system, hiring additional case managers to effectively and efficiently monitor the welfare of children and families.
CRC mentors orphanages transitioning to family care
The CRC is launching a Deinstitutionalization department focused on helping orphanages transition from residential to family care. Led by long time CRC team member David Musa, the DI Department will assess an organization's readiness for transition, teach the organization how to develop a transition plan, and coach their staff through the process. The DI Department will coach orphanages on safe, collaborative, and sustainable family reintegration, as well as family strengthening and sustainability.
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