Search The Way acknowledges that the rapidly evolving developments around the COVID-19 situation (see: NZ Ministry of Health for latest updates), has created some uncertainty for our participants and their support networks, including around how they can continue to progress through the various Youth Awards they are currently enrolled in.
As per Search The Way’s key values, the safety and well-being of our participants (and their whanau), remains our number one priority, and with this in mind, we as an organisation are carefully following the advice and instructions of the various governing bodies to help protect this.
We encourage participants and their support networks to play their part in helping reduce the risk of transmission by following advice such as washing and drying of hands, coughing into elbows, not touching faces, practicing physical distancing, staying at home if you are sick and reporting flu-like symptoms. See also Ministry of Health Information such as:
We are also aware that some of those associated with our programmes are immunocompromised and so at greater risk.
With this in mind, and in light of the current level we are on in Aotearoa New Zealand, Search The Way has now put in place a new mode of operation, which enables participants to continue progressing towards their Youth Awards, whilst at the same time protecting their own and others safety. This means that Search The Way will be operating remotely, with all of its participants and support networks, whilst New Zealand and/or the areas we work in are in Level 2 or above for COVID-19. For more information on levels see: COVID-19 Alert System. Whilst in this mode we unfortunately will not be able to meet or run activities directly in person with individuals or groups. Instead, we are available to help participants via the use of technology such as:
· phone texts/calls
· social media
· video calls/meetings/webinars
· online/distance learning
· utilising our Learner Management System
· online record books.
We can be contacted at any stage to help our participants to adapt to changes in their own environments, so they can continue to advance in the areas of each Youth Award that is practicable and safe for them to do so. All Youth Awards we offer have built-in flexibility to enable progression through many aspects of the Awards, even if some restrictions on some activities may result in some areas not being able to be completed at this current time.
We wish to emphasise that participants are under no pressure to have to complete every aspect of their Awards at the same time, and so can work on each aspect as opportunity and conditions enable. Search The Way is available to work with all participants to help them work through their own Individual Plans on how they can adapt such plans so they can continue to progress their Awards even in the current changing environment. We also recognise that these times of changes in our environments can cause stress and uncertainty on participants and their extended whanau, and so wish to make sure that their participation in our Youth Award programmes doesn’t add to this pressure. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help or have any concerns with your situations around your Award progress or to provide you with any information we have on referral on to other support or information that may assist you or your whanau at this time. (One example of this is the flyer from MSD: Help with Essential Costs).
We count it a privilege to work with fantastic participants who have shown us they are resilient, adaptable and supportive of each other. We believe this situation provides an opportunity for our participants to further support their extended whanau, friends and communities at large – perhaps in unique ways such as positive use of social media or leading by example in helping look after each other. There are also opportunities to extend their knowledge and skill levels in areas, using technology and resources on hand. We see no reason why each of our participants can’t continue to advance on their own personal development journey over this period, further progress towards achieving their Youth Awards and to help others along the way.
We look forward to resuming our normal mode of operations, and exploring new horizons with you, when the situation improves. In the interim, we here at Search The Way will do our best to support each of you in the journey ahead.
Keep in touch. Noho ora mai (Stay well and look after yourself and others).
Justin & Silvia (Search The Way Management)