Warriors at Work

child protection

2020 has changed and restructured what we earlier used to perceive as normal. We are now living a ‘new’ normal, carefully adapting to a transformed lifestyle and breaking the old patterns.

TARA stands as a shining example of adaptability and flexibility with the staff and the children altering their set patterns. While children used to go to school and see their friends face-to-face, now they do that digitally. Attendances to the classes are marked depending on the regularity of the children on digital platforms like Google Meet and Zoom, selected by the schools for conducting academic classes. Rigorous sanitization and wearing a clean mask have become mandatory on a daily basis. But what about our staff? How have they been adjusting to the new situation?

Hasina, our Program Manager at TARA Girls and TARA Boys says, “TARA maintains a very safe and hygienic environment. Contact with outsiders is cautiously regulated to ensure that the children and staff don't get affected by the virus.”

New and unforeseen challenges go hand-in-hand with a new way of living.

Akanksha, our Program Manager at TARA Outreach Centre explains; “TARA Outreach Centre has temporarily closed*. During this time, the children and the families associated with us are facing lots of challenges. The children were out of school with no educational resources being provided from their schools. Their parents were out of jobs and struggling to make their ends meet.”

On top of this, some of our beneficiaries of TARA Outreach Centre had to go back to their villages due to loss of work and consequently, were asked to vacate their rented rooms by their landlords. Due to migration of these families to their villages, we had difficulty contacting them. The children have been out of school for more than 7 months due to which their academics is increasingly at a loss. Our social workers and teachers contacted families and created online groups to ensure that there is no obstruction to the children’s education. Education materials are shared, and continuous follow-ups are done by the teachers and social workers of TARA Outreach Centre. The purposes of these calls are to assess the health status of their families and at the same time to assess their family situation. Even though the situation has been challenging in these times, TARA created a relation of trust, which has strengthened the bond between the families and the TARA Outreach Centre.

Our staff has been working extra hard to ensure that the children are not affected, and their education is not hampered; TARA’s staff has been doing everything in their capacity to overcome the barriers. Hasina says that working long hours makes it physically and mentally exhausting for the team. But she does not let that drag them down. In order to deal with it, she has personally started taking courses on Mindfulness and Meditation to channelize her stress. Each and every staff member has also attended counseling sessions especially designed for them by TARA and its partner, Children First.

Despite the very stressful situation, the staff has been ensuring that they provide the highest possible standard of wellbeing to the children, for which they deserve a tribute.

What makes TARA significantly stand out is the continuous efforts by the entire staff which includes all our program managers, teachers, nannies, cooks, night staff, administrative assistants, social workers, drivers, child welfare officers and medical officers. TARA surely knows how to adapt to the challenges coming its way and to continue delivering to the children the highest possible protection and education that TARA through its set of programs aims to offer.

*TARA Outreach Centre has reopened on October 12th.

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Posted on 29 October 2020