New FundLife Survey Reveals the Sobering Impact of COVID-19 on Education and Mental Health for Young People
Almost one year since the COVID-19 virus emerged and turned lives upside down, the enduring global pandemic continues to impact lives fundamentally. As countries clamber for vaccines to reach the most vulnerable, the concealed negative effect on young people may turn out to be the most significant untreated hazard in the years to come. The consistently inconsistent societal and learning landscape is leaving young people feeling uncertain and anxious, leading to a potential mental health and educational emergency for an entire generation.
New data compiled by FundLife shows just how COVID-19 has changed the lives of vulnerable young people in Tacloban, Leyte, and the subsequent impact COVID-19 uncertainty has on their mental health, their education and future ambitions.
In a recent survey conducted by FundLife on almost 250 vulnerable youth from Leyte aged 10-16, data showed eight out ten young people admitted to still being very concerned by the pandemic, while over 95% admitted they remain worried that their family will get sick from COVID-19.
The heightened sense of helplessness in protecting family members is even more acute for youth from underserved communities, impacting their learning. Households have an average of 4.6 people living in an average of 2.3 bedrooms, making quiet learning almost impossible for youth. 81% of youths said they find it challenging to find a place to study, while 76% said it’s tough for them to concentrate on learning while at home.
One of the significant contributors aside from lack of enabling space is the digital divide exacerbated and exposed as learning moves online. Less than 20% of young people questioned had access to either a tablet or laptop at their home, while 86% admitted it’s very hard to learn without a teacher’s help.
To tackle the growing and protracted education emergency that COVID-19 has amplified, FundLife has been supporting youth with learn-from-home videos that they can view on their phones as schools continue to stay shut, some ten months after the crisis started. In addition to accessible online content, FundLife has been delivering family-packs so that young people can focus on education and lessen their responsibility toward the family household income which has often been negatively impacted by COVID-19 as businesses remain shut.
Despite access to videos and safe-at-home packs FundLife provides, young people still need further and continuous support. Over 95% of those surveyed said not enough is being done to help young people during the crisis, and call for greater social, emotional and educational support from authorities.
FundLife, in collaboration with local partners, is continuing to explore ways to improve access to learning for the most vulnerable children and youth.
FundLife will publish a full report in coming weeks and recommendations for interventions to help vulnerable youth. We are inviting new partners to join us as we move towards ensuring all young people have the support services they need to thrive and focus on education. To learn more email email@example.com
As part of Coaches Across Continents’ (CAC) Global COVID-19 response efforts, Community Impact Coaches (CIC’s) worldwide led training programs using CAC’s purposeful play curriculum, COVID awareness resources and mental health education. CAC is a US registered nonprofit which partners with community organizations in more than 100 countries.
These partnerships consist of year-round comprehensive organizational development and sport for social impact education. CAC has been one of FundLife’s long-term partners and our very own Football for Life Academy and Girls Got This coach Patrina Kaye N. Caceres who has worked alongside CAC since 2014, domestically and internationally, as one of its Philippine Community Impact Coaches was handpicked by CAC to receive funding and to lead two two-day on field training programs in Tacloban City.
As Coach Patty puts it: “it’s a very different feeling to actually lead the programs as compared to assisting as a Community Impact Coach because I had to step up my facilitating game. I had to be more confident with my voice and had to assess what can be done better after every training day. But with the help of my two chosen CIC’s from FundLife, coaches Da and Pao, I believe we were able to handle the sessions very well. We banked on each other’s strengths to ensure that the individual weaknesses we had, will not hinder the success of the two programs.”
On November 29 and 30, the first training program started. Here the main focus was to educate FundLife coaches.
One of the aspiring coaches, Daniel, shared his insights about the training: “I learned a lot from the CAC training, not just about coaching football but also about different social issues. I found it amazing that CAC’s curriculum had drills and other games to raise awareness about social issues. I am sure our players will have fun during the sessions if we use the games we learned, because the other coaches and I had so much fun. There was not a moment when we were not laughing or smiling during the two-day training program. I became more confident as a coach and I am really thankful that I got to experience such an out of the box coaching education.”
The second training program took place on December 17 and 18. It was open to all and was participated by some coaches, players, teachers, community leaders and representatives from the Department of Education as well as our FundLife staff. One of the participants, Teacher Lily, who was Coach Patty’s first grade teacher, and is now a principal at an elementary school in Tacloban City, shares her thoughts about the CAC training session: “the session was a fun one and it feels good to learn new tricks in educating and coaching from your pupil.” The two training programs were also part of YOUnified, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) anniversary youth-led activities for the Philippines this year. FundLife and CAC ensured the training programs had followed IATF and local health protocols. Through the training programs, Coaches Across Continents delivered its promise of mentoring and empowering communities through the organizations they partner with.
Words by Patrina Caceres (Coach Patty)
In December, FundLife was able to continue with the educational community led sessions through football led by the Football for Life Academy and Girls Got This coaches for children from 10 to 18 years old. Every session the coaches focus on social issues that affect children in their day to day life. All sessions follow the strict health and safety protocols under the guidance of the LGU's, making sure all players are checked on symptoms before attending the session and maintain social distancing during the trainings.
This month the focus was on Gender Equality, Safe Spaces and Teamwork. Through fun games and activities the coaches teach the players about issues and try to keep it fun but engaging by letting the children interact with each other and talk about experiences they have faced themselves.
We want to teach our players the importance of being knowledgeable about concepts that are important to them as future adults and leaders in their community. We encourage them too, to give their opinions and have confidence in their own voices. It is therefore wonderful to see when our players give their thoughts during the discussions after each game/drill.
One of the players even told the coaches that it is amazing how they are having fun and at the same time, learn about the world they live in through the games we teach them. He also said that through attending the sessions, he has become more productive in his school work. As one of his motivations is to finish his tasks so his parents allow him to attend the sessions as long as his modules are done before Saturday.
FundLife delivers COVID-19 Child Protection seminar to up-skill Youth Mentors in working with children.
''A child’s safety is everyone’s responsibility'', said Julie Ruth Martija, Social Welfare Officer II from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Dulag, during the coach’s orientation workshop on Child Rights and Child Protection last July 25, 2020.
Eleven (11) youth mentors from FundLife who have been working with communities and children participated in the refresher orientation for child protection policy during COVID-19 quarantine measures. The discussion of the orientation was anchored on the mandate of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the lawson child protection in the Philippines.
Through the activity, the coaches were able to share and discuss common issues and concerns they encounter working as youth mentors who directly engage with children in various learning and play activities.
They also learned how to report and properly respond as youth mentors to different types of abuse at the time of COVID-19 quarantine measures . The seminar helped youth mentors gain a better understanding on how they can ensure the safety and security of children through FundLife’s current online education initiatives during the on-going COVID-19 crisis.
“I expect that all the things we learned today, we (youth mentors and coaches) be in our hearts, mind and in our actions,” said Coach John Paul, FundLife youth mentor, when asked about his thoughts after the workshop training.
Prior to the training, the youth mentors were also able to attend the first part of the webinar session about Safeguarding in Sports through the initiative of UNICEF and 'Street Football World' on July 23, 2020.
The webinar session enabled the coaches to get good practices from various organizations about safeguarding. These capacity building activities are timely for FundLife’s front liners to be able to ensure that children are well protected from all forms of harm and violence in our COVID-19 Response Training Sessions.
Through a partnership with the Barangay Local Government Unit of Libertad, Palo Leyte and San Isidro, Tacloban, FundLife initiated a COVID-19 Educational Session Response for children from 10 to 18 years old started last Monday, August 3 2020.
This pilot initiative aims to provide play-based learning sessions to children and youth in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working under strict health and safety protocols and under guidance of the LGU's , FundLife has agreed to deliver 25 educational sessions that will reach 90 children (50% girls) from three different communities. Many children have been without access to learning since March 14th, and these sessions, in addition to sharing key COVID-19 health information are also intended to provide much needed access to learning for children and youths. These communities were included in recently conducted survey about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Children and adolescents in these areas expressed the negative psychological and emotional effects of the pandemic.
FundLife youth mentors and coaches designed sessions that target to strengthen the awareness of children and young adolescents on hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition with special focus on responsiveness to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through football and carefully planned play activities children would be given a safe platform to learn while playing.
The pilot implementation will involve the Barangay Health Workers to ensure that the local health protocols will be consistently followed. Together with the coaches, youth mentors and other community leaders, they will create a peer group who can provide emotional and psychological support for children and young adolescents affected by the quarantine and the pandemic.
Based on the signed Memorandum of Agreement with the BLGU of Libertad Palo and San Isidro Tacloban the pilot program will run for three months. Children will be divided into two batches. Each batch of children can participate in a two-hour session twice a week.