How to support cultural bearers, artists, and crafts persons during and following the COVID outbreak
- Find out if essential needs of survival and sustenance are being met. These may include: nutritious food, dignified and relevant shelter, clothing, safe drinking water and access to services such as education, healthcare, or access to markets.
- Take into consideration the mental health and psychosocial impact on the individual/family/communities. Psychological First Aid can be practiced without a certificate and only requires a simple short course, easily available online (see links below).
- Ensure short-term recovery support by restoring access to supplies, cultural spaces, tools, equipment, instruments, cash, linkages with appropriate schemes and partnerships.
- Plan for longer-term resilience building by ensuring that the risk of future shock and stresses to physical health, well-being or livelihoods is reduced. This includes creating improved living conditions.
- Amplify the voice of cultural bearers: connect them with humanitarian aid agencies that are providing assistance in the current crisis. Participate in local humanitarian coordination networks to inform them of the likely impact of the current crisis on cultural bearers.
- Connect cultural bearers to relevant platforms, networks, groups and institutions.
- Ensure participation and regular two-way communication during the entire process.
- Follow the ‘Do No Harm’ approach to ensure that the recovery process does not put the cultural bearer(s) into further harm/distress.
Some useful links
Links to online courses on Psychological First Aid (PFA)
Prepared by Meghna Goyal, cultural first aider and humanitarian aid professional
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