About SOS Children’s Villages Bangladesh
SOS Children’s Villages Bangladesh is a non-governmental social development organisation which supports disadvantaged families to care for their children, and when children can no longer live with their own families, quality alternative care is provided through SOS Family Like Care Programme. Child development and child rights have been the heart of our mission since 1949 and SOS Children’s Villages International is currently working in 136 countries and territories around the world. In Bangladesh, SOS Children’s Villages started its activities in 1972 immediately after the war and currently working in six locations: Dhaka, Rajshahi, Khulna, Chattogram, Bogura and Sylhet.
Interventions in Response to COVID-19
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have ever faced and health and economy are severely affected all over the world. It is commendable that the Bangladesh government has taken the timely initiative to lock down for ensuring the social distance, which is the most effective way to combat with this unprecedented crisis. However, social distancing, for people who survive on daily wages, means starvation and those families are more vulnerable than ever before.
While planning the COVID-19 responses, SOS Bangladesh Focuses on strengthening families at risk of falling apart, giving them the support they need to grow stronger, stay together and keep their children safe. SOS Bangladesh is responding to the needs of 11,437 beneficiaries belonging to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities across 17 Upazilas under seven (07) districts to help keep them safe. Beside these 986 children under SOS Family Like care residing in six 6 SOS facilities are getting their regular intervention as well as additional measures taken to cope with up Covid-19 pandemic. The Locations are:
1. 986 orphan children are staying in SOS Family Care at six location of SOS Bangladesh. To ensure their safety during this pandemic several initiatives have been taken:
- Visitors from outside are completely restricted;
- Vigorous awareness is provided to children and mother about various preventive measures and the new standard of cleanliness of family houses;
- Internet connection are kept uninterrupted so that children and youth can continue the virtual classes and complete various virtual courses;
- Adequate hygiene products are ensured;
- Providing necessary emotional support so that they can cope with the situation;
- Children and youth are encouraged & supported so that they can utilize their new found time productively;
- Youth who are staying different boarding houses are constantly in touch through phone call to know about their condition as well as to provide emotional support;
- Awareness, prevention, reporting and responding are reemphasized to ensure child safeguarding.
- Special COVID-19 Medical Reserve- To meet the urgent medical need of the children residing in SOS Family Like Care, BDT 6 lac is allocated for 6 Children’s Villages (1 lac for each location). This amount will be spent for the children, mother/aunt or residential co-workers if anyone get infected by COVID-19.
2. Distribution of Essential Food Item
- 2968 Families of 4000 children are receiving dry ration from April 2020 who are from vulnerable families from Community through SOS Family Strengthening Programme. The dry ration pack is containing 20 kgs rice, 1-litre cooking oil, 2 kgs lentils, 1 kg salt, 2 kg potatoes, 1 kg onion, 200 gms powder milk, 1 kg sugar, 1 kg puffed rice and 10 candles. These are distributed in coordination with respective Government authority. Cost of each pack is BDT 1000 and these distributions are done monthly and will be continued in the next 6 months.
3. Distribution of hygiene Materials
- A safety & hygiene pack which contains 4pcs of masks, laundry soaps-2, bathing soaps-2, and detergent-500gm is being distributed to the same 2968 families and will be continued for the next 6 months.
4. Supplementary nutrition to children
- Among our target beneficiaries from the community, 1873 children aged between 0-10 years are receiving Nutrition Pack. It is a pack of 2 dozen eggs, 2 packs of high protein biscuits, 500 gm powder milk which costs BDT 500.
5. Unconditional Cash support
- SOS Bangladesh is providing unconditional cash support to 2,511 Families of community based SOS Family Strengthening Programme. Each family is receiving BDT 4000 bi monthly and this support will be continued till next 6 months;
- 157 Families of SOS Kinship Care Programme are also receiving BDT 1000 each. This is a monthly cash support and will be continued till next six months.
- 150 Care Leavers are receiving BDT 2500 each from August 2020. This support will be continued till next 6 months.
6. Providing Psychological First Aid by Professional Psychiatrist to ensure wellbeing of mental health
- 629 children aged above 14 residing in SOS Family Like Care and 103 SOS Mothers and Aunts (care givers of children) as well as 150 Co-Workers received Psychological First Aid.
7. Advocacy Initiatives
- A joint appeal (in collaboration with Joining Forces Bangladesh) is delivered to policy makers and media for effective response and mitigation of impact of COVID-19 on the children in Bangladesh.