What has MRO been doing during the outbreak of COVID-19?

I just wanted to take a moment to share what MRO has been doing in the midst of COVID-19. Our team put together this great recap for some of our donors and I thought I would share it with my support network. I’ve added little explanations throughout, but if something doesn’t make sense. Reach out, I’m happy to explain in more detail. Enjoy!

Management Team and Staff took COVID-19 very seriously and began to discuss and analyze the situation.  From those affected by COVID-19 to alternative ways to make sure MRO services were kept alive and continued to benefit Boundary Partners (organizations/groups that we view as stakeholders to our mission), especially Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC). Since MRO is a partnership organization, we are continuing to work with our Boundary Partners believing this will produce long term positive impact, ownership, and sustainability. By doing so, the relationship and connection that already existed with these Partners is an effective way of growing relationships during the outbreak of COVID-19 amid social distancing and not gathering as crowds of people.

MRO Leadership Meeting on COVID-19.

Working via collaboration with MoSVY (ក្រសួង​សង្គមកិច្ច អតីតយុទ្ធជន និងយុវនីតិសម្បទា Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation) , Subnational Level, and Local Authorities:

Even though Cambodia is still instructed by the government to not holding any meetings or gathering of people to avoid the spread of  COVID-19, MRO’s services are still alive via collaboration with Local Authority providing emergency needs and protection materials (rubbing alcohol, soap, awareness posters, and face masks).

MRO has been working with the Chief of Child Welfare Department of Pusat, Kompong Chang, Takeo, Battambang, Kratie, and Kandal province to distribute protection materials for OVC living in
orphanage and in community.

Receiving MRO contributions, Chief of Child Welfare Department with PoSVY (Provincial of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation) Staff have delivered these protection materials for children and raised their awareness on how to use these materials properly.  Including hand washing with soap and rubbing alcohol, and ways of self-protection and for others.

Emergency Foster Care and Case Management:

Family-Based Alternative Care (FBAC) Team visited Emergency Foster Care (EFC) children and families to follow up and provide monthly training. The team provided emergency food and hygiene packs to OVC children and families in Takeo, Kandal and Takream, Battambang. The team also informed children and families about COVID-19 and taught them to wash their hands properly to prevent the virus.

Supporting Careleaver in Need:

The life skill training to Careleavers (young adults that have left residential care) about the awareness of COVID-19 and gave out some posters to Careleavers and people in the community to aware of the virus and shared with them about handwashing properly.

A Careleaver who has serious eye problem has been supported and accompanied even during the outbreak of COVID-19, to see the doctor and he has got proper treatment.

Careleaver received emergency foods and medical support for their basic needs. Also, arrangements were made with the Village Chief and neighbors to make sure Careleavers are cared for, staying safe and healthy.

MRO staff visited Youth Club members to assess their feelings during the outbreak of COVID-19 and planning for self-protection and re-connection with their family once they are instructed not to go out of Residential Care Institutions (RCI).

Supporting OVC via RCIs Partners:

According to government instruction, RCIs are not allowing children living in RCI to visit their family and homeland for their protection and safety, MRO has been working closely with RCI Partners in taking care of Boundary Partner, Youth Club members and OVC living in RCI for their protection and safety during the Outbreak of COVID-19. We contribute awareness posters and protection materials (face mask, rubbing alcohol, and soap) to RCIs directors for protecting the safety of OVC living in their place.

Active involvement from Key Community People and Youth Peer Network in dealing with COVID-19:

The life skill training to Careleavers about the awareness of COVID-19 and gave out some posters to Careleavers and people in the community to increase awareness of the virus and shared with them about handwashing properly.

Key Community People cooperated with the local authorities to distribute soaps and emergency package of food for vulnerable children and their families.

Opportunity to get involved!

Now that you have seen the amazing work MRO is doing in the midst of COVID-19. I’d love to tell you about an awesome partnership we are doing with Bumble Bee Soap. (You know them as my favorite soap company in Cambodia and their amazing beer soap!)

Bumble Bee Soap is launching LOVE SOAP, a project as part of their humanitarian response to the COVID-19 crisis, and inviting YOU to participate. LOVE SOAP is a budget-friendly soap that we will be giving away through our partner organizations.

They are inviting agencies and individuals to consider sponsoring a batch of soap roughly 70 bars. One batch of LOVE SOAP costs $70 to produce. You pay for the ingredients, they’ll donate their time and logistics to make and package the soap, and then their partner organizations such as Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) or M’lup Russey Organization (that is where I work!) will make sure it’s given to those who are most in need.

I’m working directly with Bumble Bee Soap’s Co-Founder, Tracie, to make sure MRO’s Foster Families and Careleavers get access to soap during COVID-19. If you are interested in getting involved – please let me know, via e-mail, comments, text, etc. And I’ll send you information on how to donate. Then you’ll get information on the soaps production and distribution.

P.S. Some of you might have received a duplicate email yesterday morning. That was a repeat email from my March Update that got re-sent while I was working in MailChimp in the morning. I’m so sorry for the extra “spam”.

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