In this season of incredible disruption across every sector of society due to COVID-19, A21 has also had to adjust to the changes that have come into place as a result of the pandemic.
The agility of their frontline teams has been remarkable in finding creative ways to continue core programs including A21 hotlines, Child Advocacy Centres (CACs), aftercare programs, as well as leveraging online opportunities to promote prevention, awareness, and educational resources. The needs are urgent, and the team are stepping up to the challenge.
Here’s how some of their programs are adapting as a result of the pandemic:
- Staff managing national hotlines have adapted to answering calls remotely to keep
the hotlines active and, in some places seen call volume double since the beginning of the
- A21 has adapted their approach to aftercare based on the social distancing
restrictions in each country. In some locations, social workers are meeting 1:1 with
survivors and in other locations social workers are connecting with survivors online
to ensure that they are not isolated.
- In addition to making changes to ensure continuous care of the current survivors in
their care, the team has gone the extra mile to welcome NEW survivors into their care
during the pandemic who otherwise would have nowhere else to go. Since the
COVID-19 pandemic began, all seven of their global aftercare offices have accepted
new survivors into the program.
- The CACs are still operational with either staff on-site if permitted
or staff accessing the CAC resources on a case-by-case basis to serve exploited
- Although local law enforcement has been impacted by the pandemic, the team have been
encouraged that law enforcement agencies are continuing to collaborate with their
team on investigations during the pandemic.
Aftercare and Survivor Support
A21 teams have been working tirelessly to support the survivors in their care during this
challenging time. In many countries, they’ve had to increase aftercare budgets in order to
continue to provide survivors with the highest level of care.
Your giving through the Hillsong Foundation has allowed A21 to meet various needs of survivors during this critical time:
- Offering support to survivors so they can care for and home-school their children in this time
- Mailing education packages to children in Cambodia who are in foster care and unable to leave their houses
- Providing food and hygiene packs to families and survivors in Cambodia
- Providing care packages to child survivors in shelters in Thailand
- Sending support packages with essential supplies to survivors and their families in Greece, Bulgaria, and the USA
- Supplying survivors with phones and tablets, allowing them to connect with caseworkers and do online therapy and learning courses
- Looking for employment options for survivors to work from home such as customer service
- For survivors who may have lost their jobs, A21 is working to support them financially at this time
- For some survivors A21 is often their only form of contact as many of them aren’t connected to family or friends.
It is your support that reminds survivors that people care about them, that there is hope
in the midst of a crisis, and that they are stronger than any challenge they are currently
For more on how A21 is responding, visit a21.org