Update on "WAWAS" program due to COVID-19
Our "Wawas" program has been implemented in recent months with several adaptations to the new normal, we have tried to provide our free psychological assistance and legal advice services normally both in our facilities and through our social networks and other direct communication channels; However, reaching all of our beneficiaries and following up on their situation has been a real challenge, since not all families have internet, computers or a mobile phone. In this context, above all various ways have been sought to access families in order to give support to children and adolescents, but the physical closure of schools and the early closure of school management have weakened our progress and made it difficult to continue the program.
During this year, with great concern we must once again face the government's decision to continue education through online classes, since those students who are in public schools and whose motivation is often school breakfast, they don't enjoy the privileges of having a laptop, internet or a smart cell phone, on the contrary, the children who most need education to change their destiny are those who will not be able to access virtual classes due to lack of resources.
The fact that the students cannot reach the classrooms is also challenging for us, since the intervention with the “Wawas” program should enable different access routes to families and innovative communication strategies. It is precisely on this that we are working every day to reach all our beneficiaries and be able to fulfill our objective of preventing violence and protecting children and adolescents.
Due to the Global Crisis caused by COVID-19, our president timely interrupted the school cycle since the 12th of March to the 30th of April, until further notice. Therefore, we cannot provide our free legal and psychological services personally, however we have our psychologists, lawyers and social workers available by phone, WhatsApp, Facebook or Telegram to provide services remotely.
On the other hand, as there are many people that cannot identify alone a situation of violence, we have developed a virtual instrument to help potential victims to recognize their own conditions and value whether they need immediate help or not. This online form can be easily filled out from any device with few MB of internet, it takes only 3 minutes. Currently, it is usual that in low-income countries, youth and women have just some money on their phones to access internet, because it results very expensive to have a landline or WiFi at home. In Bolivia during the sanitary emergency the government is subsidizing a monthly amount of internet for cellphones as well as electricity and water (for three months) Therefore, our form is available and accessible for almost all through a simple click