Luciano Ramos

 

Luciano Ramos

My message to colleagues around the world:
This time should be a time for learning. It is a moment to seize our future. It won't be possible to be the same after this pandemic; our practices will no longer be the same.


Country: Brazil
Job title: Social Program Coordinator
Sector: Child Protection and Social Welfare
Works with children:
From 2 years of age
Years of experience in his role: 12 years

 

 

If you could send one positive message to your colleagues around the globe at these challenging times, what would it be?
This time should be a time for learning. It is a moment to seize our future. It won't be possible to be the same after this pandemic; our practices will no longer be the same.

We have learned new forms of communication. We have learned to value families even more as the primary caregivers for their children. We need to reinvent our practices.

In Brazil, the Statute of Children and Adolescents, a law regulating children and adolescents' care and protection, dictates that child care is a duty of the Family, State, and Society. The family, as well as the community in which these children live, take responsibility for care. After the pandemic, I want managers and public organizations to understand this and support families and community agents.

The pandemic will pass! We will return to our face-to-face activities. In the meantime, I wish you all strength and empathy to continue this work. I hope you stay focused on what we learned during this period --  support families as the main caregivers of children and recognize the role that their communities play in child development.

 

If you could send one positive message to children and families/caregivers around the globe at these challenging times, what would it be?
It is a new time! I know a lot of families are afraid. Many families lost their jobs! Black men and black women living in marginalized areas are the most affected in Brazil. Historically, this population is already the most vulnerable. They are often not protected by public policies in Brazil and other parts of the world. Black children need to be hopeful that a new world will come! A new world that respects and cares for black children -- this is my wish for black communities across the globe.

On the other hand, men and women can spend more time with their sons and daughters right now. They can spend more time caring for and protecting children. Now is the time to strengthen the bonds between them.

There is one word that comes to mind that communicates my deepest desire; hope. I have hope for all these families.

 

What are you learning during these times as an individual and a professional?
Personally, the pandemic is teaching me to be resilient. It shows me that I need to take better care of myself to take care of others. It reminds me of in-flight rules, "secure your oxygen mask first, and then assist the other person."

Professionally, I am learning that the crisis is an opportunity to change strategies and broaden the vision. Workshops with online activities allow the methodologies with which I work to reach more people throughout Brazil. During this pandemic, we've been able to connect with more men.

Between April and May of this year, violence against women in Latin America grew to disappointing numbers. During this period, activities we've conducted with men helped prevent situations that could lead to violence against women and children.

During the lockdown, I wrote a children's book about fatherhood. It shows the relationship between a father and his young child. It shares how fathers can take care of children and address sensitive issues such as racism against black children. This topic is high on the agenda, alongside child protection and care.

 

What would you like people to know and understand about your work during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Since 2008 I work in the social sector. I started working on community projects to enhance the care of families with young children. At the same time, I worked with local governments to make the voices of young children heard in public policy development.

I have been working with an organization in Brazil for three years to increase men's involvement with young children and create policy proposals focused on this topic. We work on elaborating such proposals, as well as the implementation and the monitoring of public policies.

At first,  I was confused about transforming our face-to-face method of working with men so that we could do it from a distance. Promundo has a methodology called Program P, which is a series of internationally recognized activities that promote care skills in men who are parents. My big challenge was to transform these activities to perform them remotely, contributing to parents' ability to care for their children, especially during this pandemic, when they spend more time at home and take care of their children.

 

What concerns you the most now, and what concerns you most for the upcoming period?
Families are not empowered, through public policies, to care for children. Governments invest in physical and professional spaces with face-to-face work but do not invest in parents. The pandemic forced children to spend more time at home. Parents became their principal educators. I have concerns about family mental health and worries about strengthening education while avoiding violence in homes.

My concern for the near future is that governments and organizations will learn that investment should be focused on families and communities. This will ensure the care and protection of children.

 


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