If you could send one positive message to your colleagues around the globe at these challenging times, what would it be?
We need to stay connected and work together. We must learn from each other and work together on new strategies to reach more vulnerable children and communities.
If you could send one positive message to children and families/caregivers around the globe at these challenging times, what would it be?
Stay safe and understand that we need to adapt to the new situation, this situation will change, and we will overcome it together.
What are you learning during these times as an individual and a professional?
As an individual, I struggled to adapt to using technology. However, I realized that this was the need of the hour. I was initially hesitant to take my children's help, but I had to break through this notion and embrace my children's support. So my children taught me, and I learned new things from them. My relationship with my children has grown, and they have also discovered more about the work that I carry out.
In my profession, I learned new things. I was able to help out my team members also. It was not just self-learning but encouraging my team members too.
What would you like people to know and understand about your work during the COVID-19 pandemic?
As people who were directly connected to the field, we could not go to the field. The most important work of running creches was no longer possible. Hence we adopted a new strategy of reaching out to the children and their families; we started working remotely with a mobile phone. Our work with young children on development is the core of what we do, and we needed to focus on that even remotely. We focused our work on children's needs — health, care and education, safety, and nutrition. Even though we were not physically present, we continued to provide parents with capacity building and encouraged the parents and family members to engage with children. There were initial hick-ups, but we continued to follow up with the families.
We had to begin by ensuring that the families were okay and had necessities, such as food. We also had to meet the urgent need of the communities, families, and children, and we put all of our effort toward ensuring that the community had necessities. We simultaneously worked with parents to help them cope with this situation and their children's needs, specifically during this time.
What concerns you the most now, and what concerns you most for the upcoming period?
The main concern I have is that some families will not get enough work. I have read and seen that everywhere people are losing their sources of income. The economy is now facing a crisis. How will the migrant workers be able to cope up with the crisis?
I worry that if there is no work, children will be forced to work, increasing child labor in our country.
Also, if parents are struggling to find work and have to leave their children to search for jobs, there is a chance that older children will be responsible for their younger siblings and be deprived of education.
Read other interviews from Mobile Creches' employees.
Hear from Radha Pandey here, and Sunita Rawat here.
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