The unprecedented Coronavirus outbreak has shocked the world and everyone has been forced to make rapid adjustments to their lives. All areas of society are adapting to the new circumstances and charities are no exception. Covid-19 has put additional pressure on organisations offering mental health support. There has been a sharp global increase in calls to helplines; in Canada the Kids Help Phone foundation recorded a 70% surge in calls and texts, with many children worried about the virus and struggling with isolation. Childline in the UK has seen a “sharp rise in the number of calls” whilst in India the Childline Helpline received 92,000 SOS calls in 11 days, mostly from children requesting protection from abuse and violence.
Meanwhile in Thailand, the Child Rights Coalition surveyed 28 member charities and found that many were deeply concerned about the social and economic impact of Covid19. Childline Thailand runs a call centre that normally averages approximately 600 calls and messages each month. In the days after the lockdown begun in April the centre has so far counselled 1195 children (1st- 21st April 2020). For a small charity this increase has put additional pressure on staff and funding and the foundation doesn’t receive any government support.
Childline Thailand’s centre for children in street situations (The Hub Saidek) has also seen a rise in demand for its services, with more children visiting the centre for support. In response the charity created an emergency appeal to provide Survival Boxes to homeless children which contain masks, soap and gel. The Hub also provides daily meals, showers and mental health support for 110 youths.
In times of crisis it’s really important to know that “there is someone there that cares” Childline and the Hub that “someone” for children. We care, we are there 24/7, and we are are always ready to help.
CTF Director Ilya Smirnoff
Whilst life has been inconvenienced for most of us, it is the most vulnerable members of society that will suffer the most. Childline helplines around the world provide a free service to millions of children and they require support to remain viable.
Please donate to Childline Thailand’s Covid-19 campaign https://childlinethailand.org/survival-box/
Follow us on social media:
Twitter, Instagram, Line @saidek1387