World Vision Philippines is committed to helping the government lift up children and young people during this national health crisis, investing in their protection and creating a better future for them.
Health and Sanitation
In the many communities we work with across the country, we are ensuring that children and families are protected and informed through intensified awareness and behaviour campaigns on proper handwashing and hygiene practices.
But in the long term, experts have highlighted the importance of having a strong immune system in fighting diseases including the new virus COVID-19.
We have to be intentional in prioritising child well-being programs that seek to address acute malnutrition. Access to sanitation, hygiene, and safe drinking water, both in development and emergency contexts, is critical to reduce the public health risk, especially among children. During disasters and conflict, affected populations are vulnerable to diseases such as cholera, and diarrhoea, so Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (IWASH) facilities should be key. How can we fight a deadly virus like COVID-19 if many of our schools and poor communities have no access to clean drinking water to start with?
The suspension of classes in Metro Manila and other provinces has been introduced to slow down the spread of the virus. The challenge now is to ensure that children’s education is not compromised by class suspensions.
Virtual programmes are vital to encourage children to continue learning while not able to attend school. Initiatives like World Vision's “Brigada Pagbasa”, in partnership with The Department of Education, is helping out-of-school children learn to read through age-appropriate learning programs.
Well-being and protection of children
During emergencies, it is common and normal for both adults and children to feel sad, nervous, upset, confused, afraid, or irritable. Talking to someone trusted like family members or friends can help with this. When dealing with children, we must be calm, avoid panicking, and provide correct information. Being clear about why it’s important to stay at home, wash our hands and observe other safety measures is crucial.
When children feel safe, free and comfortable in their environment, they are able to enjoy life in all its fullness.
Working and surviving together
World Vision Philippines will continue to work with the national government agencies and local government units to mitigate the possible secondary impacts of this pandemic on children. Our support and cooperation – rather than panic – is what is needed for us to overcome this huge challenge we are confronted with. We are one for dear life, one for a healthier and safer tomorrow, one for children!