SOS Children’s Villages SA’s response to COVID-19
The alarming spread of the COVID-19 virus has led SOS Children’s Villages South Africa to take steps to ensure the health and safety of all children and young people in our 11 programmes across the country as well as our staff. SOS Children’s Villages SA is committed to adhering to the strict measures put in place by the South African government following President Cyril Rhamaphosa’s announcement of a National state of Disaster, on Sunday, 15 March.
As an organisation committed to helping vulnerable families through our family-like villages, our family strengthening programmes and our community service centres, we recognise the increased risks that vulnerable population groups face, including those with suppressed immunity. In an effort to protect our children from possible risk and exposure, a Crisis Response Team has been activated by our National Director that will continuously assess the spread and containment of the CORONA virus (COVID-19) and provide up-to-date information and practical prevention measures to our staff and children.
Some of the current measures taken by our organisation to ensure the safety of our children’s include:• Promotion of regular use of sanitisers, gloves and masks, which will be distributed to our programs across the country.
• Mothers in our programmes are urged to buy enough household items such as food, medicines and other items especially during the holiday times.
• Increase access control and restricting external visits to all the programmes. This means that Non-essential and non-critical visitations to the programmes are now prohibited.
• All non-essential face-to-face meetings, gatherings, forums are suspended. Group activities for children to be suspended in favour of house activities to reduce contact among children.
• All international travel is prohibited and non-essential in-country travel is immediately suspended until further notice.
As a precaution, children and staff in our programmes are staying within the Children’s Village as far as possible, and visits from people outside the village are now restricted.
We hope you will understand, that decreasing access and restricting external visits is a protective measure for our children. We will keep monitoring the situation and advise of further decisions we may need to make to further prevent and/or curtail the spread of the virus.