ICDP during the pandemic

The first virtual ICDP Latin American network meeting took place on the 26th of May 2020. It was organized by the Fundación Eika, that represents ICDP Chile.

The meeting had representatives from nine countries; Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and UNICEF El Salvador.

Anne Vestheim, founder of ICDP Chile, writes: 

“We shared with each other our challenges, experiences and innovative ways of using the ICDP programme during the corona virus pandemic. 

As a result of the pandemic, there has been a stagnation in applying the programme in many countries. We shared reflections on the worrying increase in the rate of domestic violence and child abuse resulting from the lock down, we noted that the vulnerable communities lack access to internet and computers, that the overloaded teachers have no spare time to undertake the ICDP training programmes and that the lack of intimate human contact during virtual workshops is leaving an emotional gap. 

On the other hand, we have observed how the emergency situation seems to have generated a new impulse to examine alternative ways of approaching people with the ICDP programme. In some countries, ICDP teams are making efforts to develop a digital training plan, and for that reason they are mapping their potential users' accessibility to internet and digital equipment, while at the same time they are working on the production and application of short videos with punctual and effective presentations of the key concepts of the ICDP programme. There is also an increase in the adoption of virtual devices, such as WhatsApp, to present short modules and ICDP sensitization videos, and efforts are also being made to develop a radio programme with ICDP messages. At one institution, volunteers and children are exchanging letters and drawings through electronic mail. 

This was a much anticipated and successful event. Everyone rejoiced at meeting each other again, even though it was through a screen.  It was a true reflection of the heart-warming Latin American and ICDP spirit combined together! 

The representatives from ICDP Childe, the newest addition to the Latin American group, were warmly welcomed and we promptly felt part of the team.”