We talk a lot about resilience at camp, usually in reference to the positive outcomes SeriousFun camps and programs have on children living with illness. Resilience—the ability to bend and not break under adversity—is also being demonstrated by staff at SeriousFun’s Partner Programs in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SeriousFun partners with expert organizations in global health and psychosocial programming in 13 regions across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. During this time of crisis, many of our trusted partners are working on the frontlines in their regions. From Haiti to Botswana, here are just some of the ways our partners are supporting their communities right now.
Delivering Essential Supplies to the Community
Since the beginning of the pandemic, staff at Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) in Haiti, Vietnam, and Ethiopia have been delivering food and hygiene kits to children and families in the communities they serve.
These emergency relief kits offer families immediate support when they need it most, and are an act of community care.
Jacqueline Cadeau, WWO Country Director in Haiti and Camp Director of Kan Etwal, preparing emergency relief kits.
Improving the Country’s Testing Capacity
At Y.R. Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research Education (YRGCARE)—the partner organization of Camp Rainbow in Chennai, India—the lab team is involved in the country’s COVID-19 testing response. In a country of 1.3 billion, this vital service is supporting the national emergency response to the pandemic.
They are also doing their part to support healthcare workers on the frontlines by providing COVID-19 screening and delivering meals to hospitals. YRGCARE’s ECO Kitchen, an 18,000 square foot green facility that serves meals throughout the greater Chennai region all year, is now ensuring that meals reach underserved communities and hardworking healthcare workers.
A member of YRGCARE's lab team involved in the COVID-19 testing response.
Guaranteeing Access to Medications
At Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda, Sanyuka Camp Director and Baylor psychologist Cissy, is part of the team doing home deliveries of life-saving medications to children living with HIV. This is proving to be a vital service, as access to medications is challenging due to travel and transport restrictions.
Cissy prepares life-saving medication for distribution to local children living with HIV.
Leading the National Emergency Response
Dr. Mogomotsi Matshaba is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics & Retrovirology at Baylor College of Medicine, and Executive Director of Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence. He's a firm believer and advocate for camp in his country. Since the pandemic began, Dr. Mogomotsi has been the acting scientific advisor for Botswana’s Presidential COVID-19 Taskforce—playing a critical role in ensuring best practices around screening, treatment and transmission are communicated.
Dr. Mogomotsi Matshaba (second from right) speaking on an expert panel at the SeriousFun Partner Summit in London in 2019.
Each of SeriousFun’s Partner Programs are led locally by organizations meeting the health and psychosocial needs of youth and communities in their region. During this time, many of our partners are being called upon by their governments to utilize their expert teams to scale up existing services and aid in COVID-19 efforts. We could not be prouder of our partners for their tireless support of their communities during this challenging time—incredible examples of resilience, indeed.
To camp nurses and doctors—and healthcare professionals everywhere—thank you for all you do. Know that we’re in your corner, cheering you on with camp spirit, wherever that may be!
As the health and safety of our campers, families, volunteers, and staff is always our top priority, we're closely monitoring COVID-19 here at SeriousFun. To learn more and check on the status of upcoming or future camp and program sessions, please click here.