Rosaura* and Alicia*

  • Lima
  • Area: Health and nutrition, Humanitarian aid, Protection

New ways of relating

Alicia*, along with her mother, felt very affected by the COVID -19 pandemic, both personally and in their relationship with each other. A few months ago, they started receiving guidance from Save the Children to find ways to cope with the situation.

Alicia* 15 years old, lives with her mother, Rosaura*, in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho. For the teenager, the beginning of the pandemic, the virtual classes and the forced isolation were not easy.

When we were in lockdown, weeks were very long. At that time, I had a small cell phone, I watched videos, but I was bored out of my mind. The classes, which were virtual, stressed me a lot (…) During those two years, I felt very stressed, because they sent a lot of homework, and I usually did not understand much. They just sent sheets for us to copy, they didn’t explain the subjects, I didn’t understand the courses.

Pandemic consequences

Rosaura* tells us that she worked making clothes and the pandemic complicated her economic situation, because she was left practically without work.

During this time, she began to feel a lot of stress and her worries multiplied, which was also reflected in her relationship with her daughter. Under these circumstances, it was her sister who contacted Save the Children and gave her contact information so that they could help her.

Miss Adriana (Save the Children’s psychological support staff) contacted me and arranged for me to have a first talk with her. I went, we met, she asked me about the problems I was having, I told her about my things, the problem I was going through with my daughter. When I told her, she gave me another appointment, and so on and so forth, we were having conversations.

Facing difficulties

Alicia* recognizes that she had many mixed emotions during the pandemic. She felt pressured by her mom to study, experienced discouragement and laziness for the virtual classes and finally decided, at the beginning of this year, not to attend school anymore. However, with the support of Save the Children, she gradually understood that it was a mistake and has resumed her classes, which are now face-to-face.

I feel very happy (to have returned to classes), the first day I met new friends, I spent a week and a half catching up, I have been relaxed, I have submitted my homework (…) I am understanding the classes, not like in virtual classes when I didn’t understand anything.

Regarding Save the Children’s assistance, Alicia* tells us that she really liked the support she received from the psychologists.

On the first day of therapy, I thought: I don’t understand why my mom does this. We went to the second session and the lady told me: you must do your part for this to work. I thought: my mom is doing this so that we can trust each other more. So, I am going to listen to the lady, listen to what she tells me, I am going to take her advice and I am going to try to change…

Ivonne Ascencio, Protection Specialist at Save the Children, points out:

The psychological assistance provided by Save the Children aims to alleviate the suffering and emotional burden of day-to-day life; through strategies that promote resilience and improve functioning in daily life in the short term, reducing long-term negative psychological effects, and developing emotional skills, so that both parents and children can be more functional people. In times of pandemic, listening and accompaniment have been vital.

The relationship between Alicia* and her mother has improved a lot in recent months. Alicia* is now aware that she was going through a moment of rebellion, and Rosaura* has learned new ways to communicate with her daughter, without resorting to violence.

Before it was all fights with my mom, I didn’t listen to her, she hit me. Now we are more united, there is a little more trust. We are fine, we are more relaxed as a family, we share. Before (I) was a little lazy, I didn’t do homework, I didn’t care much about school and now I do. I want to study and finish high school, since I am in the fifth grade. I’m more responsible than before.

says Alicia*

I feel good, happy, because what we have been doing, the conversations, has been going well. With my daughter I was a little distant because of her rebelliousness, the age she is, but the therapies we have had, have helped us a lot (…) They have told me that I must control my temper and not to be too explosive with my daughter.

in Rosaura*s own words

Now, both feel more hopeful when they think about the future. Alicia* wants to continue studying after high school to become a professional.

Her mother feels proud and plans to help her achieve her goals. For all this, Rosaura* is especially grateful for the help provided by Save the Children.

Rosaura mentions that thanks to this experience she had with Save the Children’s psychologists, she recommends that other people can also benefit and feel helped and happy to have better relationships with the people they love.

* Names have been changed according to the requirements of the Safeguarding Policy

About the intervention

The SANIT@S: Healthy Families and Protected against COVID-19 project has been implemented by Save the Children and Paz y Esperanza, with the support of the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). It proposes a comprehensive response that includes gender-based violence prevention and child protection components, as well as the reduction of health vulnerabilities caused by the pandemic.

This intervention seeks to reduce the risks faced by families in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho in Lima, through the implementation of a line of legal and psychosocial support focused on emotion management, as well as the implementation of campaigns to promote COVID-19 vaccination and prevention.

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