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Lockdown Week of 13-19th April, 2020

My Dear Community,

I want to send a message to you all every week. I am moved to do this partly as I felt our latest newsletter was JUST TOO LONG! And partly because I feel a greater need to be in touch with you all at this time.

How are you? What do you need most from me or
from Children for Health at this time?

Many will say, “we are all in this together”, but I’m sure our experience of the lockdown in our respective countries and communities is very different. I live in a spacious and light house with a garden and I walk my dog, Lia, every day in the countryside on our doorstep. I am sharing my ‘lockdown’ with my husband Adrian and my son, Daniel. Daniel has had his final school exams cancelled, but he worked hard during his courses and I’m sure the results he is given will be fair and we hope he will be heading to university in September. Adrian is a consultant and all that has happened is that he now works from home. He is managing this well and is enjoying the sunshine; and that he does not have to battle on trains to London every day! My daughter, Beatrice, is in London and happy there. She is an expert at connecting with friends online, eating well and running through the empty streets each day. I normally work for Children for Health from a room in my house, so nothing really has changed there.

Clare with Lia in 2019

I know that I am one of the very luckiest ones at this time and I am grateful for this.

I’d love to know how each of you is doing, please do send me your stories.

So last week in brief…

  • I reconnected with a friend and colleague from my Child-to-Child Trust days and I’m helping her to source important documents so we can put these up online. These will help create the history of Child-to-Child work over the past 40 years and to see if together we can contribute anything to the COVID-19 response. It’s great to be back in touch!
  • I am still feeling wary of publishing our COVID-related messages. I have spent a HUGE amount of time on this refining and refining but I still don’t feel they are ready. We usually recruit and work with an expert team, but this seems to be harder than usual. There is a lot out there and I’ve spent quite a bit of time identifying resources that are worth you knowing about. I particularly like the storybook for children, ‘My Hero is YOU’ created by Interagency Committee including UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. This my top ‘spot’. It is currently available in 16 lanauges.
  • I’m working hard on new ‘well-being and resilience’ strategy, system and activities to be used in low-resource settings and maybe this will become our key ‘COVID-inspired’ resource. If you know good resources that could contribute to this or you are interested in having a chat about this then please do get in touch.
  • I am trying not to feel disheartened at a pandemic related postponement of yet another grant opportunity. One of only two that were still on the table. Will these opportunities come back? Let’s hope so! As a small organisation we put our hearts and souls into making a small number of select applications the very best that they can be, and we’ve been working for weeks on this one. Still, the work is there to be used if the opportunity re-opens. Meanwhile, if you or your organistion would like to work with us, get in touch!
  • I’ve loved opening my book of notes on building memory palaces with children and I’ve started to build one for our 100 Messages. I’m super-excited about this and I’m trying NOT to spend ALL my time on it! If you are interested in this, my inspiration and mentor is Aaron Ralby, his stuff is wonderous.
  • Then there’s the ongoing work I’m doing to build our national level nutrition education programme in Mozambique. PHEW!
  • There’s lots for you to read on our blog, on Malaria (our topic of the month), on life skills and on many other topics of interest. As a teaser… look out for a piece on The Phone in the Wind – an amazing tool created to help people deal with their grief; we are publishing this at the end of the week!

Keep safe! Thinking of you all. Write to me!