Update from Edmund Rice Community & Refugee Services
It been a while since you heard from ERCRS, I thought I should bring you update with our states of affairs.
After COVID-19 forced our programs to shutdown, ERCRS with support of ERMO, went into intensive consultation of how we could continue to support our clients during COVID-19 period. I am pleased to update you that ERCRS has successfully adapted to online virtual support. Thanks to ERMO Executive who had intensively supported this transition, it would have not been possible without them.
Currently on weekly basis, we deliver 7 primary sessions, 1 secondary session and two mentoring programs for teenage boys and girls. This is the 5th week of our online version and although the virtual connection is limited, we have been able to support both our participant and volunteer groups during this time.
A great benefit of running the programs online has been the opportunity to expand our volunteer base to interstate and other Edmund Rice volunteers, allowing their desire to support vulnerable community to be fulfilled from the comfort of their own homes. We have facilitated multiple inductions for new volunteers and continued to have inclusive debrief and conversation at the close of every program session.
Working with isolated communities we have seen the real benefit of having the capacity to contact parents and support the needs of their families during this time. The true value of continuing to support our families online is shown by the clear joy of the children as they pop on the screen, knowing they will be supported, encouraged and giving the opportunity to learn, laugh and just be a kid!
Currently, our staff are using some time to update our knowledge of our procedures, reporting, volunteer training and being creative with making ERCRS a close community regardless of our physical distance. I wish to thank everyone who had made it possible, in particular, ERCRS staff, volunteers, ERMO Executive and agencies with Edmund Rice network and external.
Biong Biong Execuitve Officer