KARACHI (UCAN): Caritas Pakistan’s Karachi chapter distributed what it calls psychosocial packages among 25 students of its community school in Sadiq Nagar, a slum area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Sindh province, to help them deal with isolation during the Covid-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) lockdown. The handout, conducted under the Covid-19 Emergency Response programme, also included a session on hand washing.
Each package contained a drawing book, colouring book, moulding clay buckets, story books, puzzle games, colour markers, glitter sheets and paint kits.
Mansha Noor, executive secretary of Caritas Karachi, encouraged children to spend more time on learning.
“The coronavirus pandemic has restricted movements of children, cutting off their socialisation, play and even physical contacts. These elements are critical for their psychosocial well-being and development,” he said.
“The closure of schools has already prevented children from access to learning and limiting their interactions with peers. Children may feel confused and at a loss with the current situation, leading to frustration and anxiety.,” he added.
“Children are becoming addicted to TV, which is not good for their health. An effective timetable can help. The virus outbreak has had a profound impact not only on health and the economic situation but also on the psychosocial well-being of societies,” Noor observed.
Separately, the Caritas Karachi also distributed 25 food packages among the most vulnerable families of St. Thomas parish of the Archdiocese of Karachi.
“People are staying at home; they cannot go to work because of the lockdown. Their capacity to buy food for their families is weakening,” Noor said.
Father Anthony Abraz, the parish priest, thanked Caritas for distributing food among the needy and most deserving families of the parish.
The Caritas team, including programme coordinator, John Rehmat, diocesan project officer, Sarfraz and Salem Daleep, registered the beneficiaries and joined Church leaders in handing over food hampers.