In these uncertain times with COVID-19, HALO has been working hard to continue to help at-risk youth. Although this Summer looked different than others, we were still able to provide safe spaces and therapeutic programs because of your support. Here’s a quick recap of what happened this Summer:
A large part of our HALO Jefferson City Girls Home is teaching life skills to help the girls learn to live independently. This Summer has been no different as we have continued to house girls and teach them essential skills. One of those life skills is cooking. We love to teach our youth easy and healthy recipes.
With social distancing, we were able to celebrate some of our youth graduating; such as Kansas City HALO Youth CeeCee! We are so proud of this incredible accomplishment and are so glad we had the opportunity to celebrate.
In mid-May, the social workers at our partner, the Simama Project in Kenya, were on the front lines working to ensure that vulnerable families have everything they need to safely navigate the Covid-19 Pandemic. It is times like these when the selflessness of our HALO partners truly shines bright.
Group counseling still took place throughout the Summer in our Uganda locations. Here, a session on building self-esteem was moderated by counselor Jane in the Lungujja girls’ Home.
We were able to kick off June and welcome HALO youth to their first in person art workshop outdoors. HALO youth from the Salvation Army Children’s Shelter were able to meet in a safe outdoor space where they made their own temporary creations using chalk. One artist reflected on her own motivational thinking by writing, “you can’t stress.”
We received so many Amazon Wishlist donations thanks to our amazing supporters. We were able to drop off essential supplies, snacks and hygiene supplies to our youth throughout the Summer.
HALO has been able to provide Therapeutic Art programming with some of our partners virtually. We tried out our Colors of Me Emotions Project; kiddos use the key to assign colors that represent their normal daily emotions, and how they would like to see their emotions evolve in the future.
To safely social distance, our Summer programs were held outdoors. In Kansas City, the World War I Museum allowed HALO youth to share their outdoor spaces.
In addition to our US locations, our international locations were also affected by COVID-19. The HALO Ashirvad Home in India spread kindness to their community by distributing food to those in need. 80 packages in total were distributed filled with food and essential items.
Soccer was very popular with our kiddos in Kenya! Here, our Baraka youth got to play soccer with mentor Matthew.
Weekly activities in the HALO Homes went on throughout the Summer. Here in Uganda, at the Kibuli Boys’ Home, the boys were frequently in the garden setting up a nursery bed for their next vegetable project.
In their free time, the boys enjoyed playing soccer with their mentors.
Not only did we have painting as our art workshops, but we had sewing classes. Whitney Manney, a KC fashion designer, led some sewing classes and taught new skills. This is her 7th year volunteering with HALO.
In July, HALO had Yoga programs. Yoga is a form of mind-body fitness that has been proven to promote recovery from many physical ailments as well as enhance over-all well being and quality of life.
Ever year HALO has a Summer Showcase, and this year was no different. However, this year it was moved online. Check out our full recap here: 2020 Virtual Summer Showcase. It included videos recapping Summer Programs, a speech from Whitney Manney, individual HALO youth showcasing their artwork with a Q&A, and ended with an awards ceremony.
HALO had a masked, distanced breakfast that took place on election day in August. In addition, KC Mayor, Quinton Lucas, stopped by to greet and talk to some of our HALO Youth.
Our HALO Meal Train is still in operation throughout the Summer. We were able to deliver these meals to our Youth mid-August.
To encourage creative writing, interactive journaling activities were done virtually this summer through “Journal Jeopardy”. HALO Youth got to choose a category and a dollar amount, where each dollar amount gave them a different journaling prompt. They then got five minutes to write about the prompt.
Starting this Fall, our Learning Center is transforming into what we’re calling the HALO Haven — a daytime and evening hangout spot for kids where they can safely do homework, engage in their online classes, get food, use the HALO wifi, get essential school or hygiene supplies, and receive other help and resources they may need. They can use this space to do art projects, work on whatever they need to do for school, or just hang out — and this will give us the opportunity to help them with their goals and talk with them about the important life skills that we are always trying to teach, while giving them consistent and reliable resources to be as academically successful as possible.