COVID-19 CATCH Community response
Zimbabwe has not been spared by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. The disease continues to cause untold fear, uncertainty, and suffering to communities across the world with countries forced to institute lockdown measures so as to contain the spread of the virus (COVID-19) which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome and death. CATCH in Zimbabwe is playing a crucial role in relation to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of the lockdown. In order to respond effects of both the Covid-19 and the lockdown CATCH has come up with the following objectives
- Establishing and running of a digital link on its social media platform for COVID-19 effective dissemination of important information to women and children
- Creating community awareness programs specific to the pandemic response
- Engaging families to institute dialogue and effective conflict resolution practices in order to avert GBV as families were caught up in violence as a result of the lockdowns
- Provision of emergency care and support services to women and children as the interact with the justice system during the lockdown and beyond
- Monitoring and reporting incidences of vulnerability for women and children during the lockdown. (incidences of GBV for women and Child rights violations for children)
On the onset of the lockdown CATCH applied for clearance through the government of Zimbabwe for continued services provision to women and children. The request for clearance was granted which then guaranteed the organization to continue service provision during lockdown. CATCH has been providing information dissemination of verified statistics and mitigation strategies on its social media platforms. Information being shared on social media in relation to COVID-19 has been too technical for children, CATCH has been simplifying this information into child friendly packages for sharing with children on social media.
CATCH has been engaging parents who were reaching out through Facebook on positive parenting, encouraging families to bond and support one another during these difficult times. CATCH continues to offer legal education, legal advice and counselling to children and vulnerable members of the society who have been reaching out while in some instances physical rapid response services were given while ensuring WHO guidelines were met that is wearing of face mask, sanitizing, washing of hands and adhering to social distance.
CATCH is disseminating information and awareness raising on the COVID-19 pandemic through social media platforms and social networks. CATCH has also been offering virtual trainings and sensitizations to community focal persons such as Case Care Workers so that they can disseminate information about COVID-19 within their communities as they are members of such communities. These focal persons have also been equipped with skills to be referral points for incidences of GBV, and child rights violations. CATCH has been advocating for child friendliness and child protection within facilities such as remand homes, remand, and prisons to safeguard children from COVID-19. Rehabilitation officers and officers in charge of prisons have been encouraged to disseminate information about COVD-19 and orient inmates on safety measures.
With government easing out lockdown restrictions CATCH has started engaging on drive through awareness in the selected communities on GBV, child rights issues and the WHO guidelines on Covid-19
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