Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!
11 November 2020
Post No. 169
The Week’s Contents
• Festive Income Booster – In Focus for 2020 Edition: Income Deficit – How Not to Carry Forward Income Deficit into 2021
• Skills to Cope with Financial and Economic Pressure from Covid-19 and Lockdowns – Skills Focus from Wednesday 11/11/2020: Financial and Economic Skills
• “A la une” (Autumn Leaves of Action for the Upkeep of the Nature in Existence) Campaign, Note No. 5 – In Focus from Week beginning 09/11/2020: Ecosystem Investments
… and much more!
• Festive Income Booster – In Focus for 2020 Edition: Income Deficit – How Not to Carry Forward Income Deficit into 2021
The next issue of our Autumn ICDP (Individual Capacity Development Programme) resource, known as Festive Income Boost and which is designed to support Multi-dimensionally Income Poor Children, Young People and Families (MIPCYPFs); will focus on Income Deficit.
This year, our focus will be on ways of Not Carrying Forward Income Deficit into 2021. It is known that many people, especially but not exclusively MIPCYPFs, have experienced unbearable income pressure from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Some of them have hit the bottom of extreme poverty.
While efforts should be made to work with them and pull them from there, one can as well work on similar projects so that these poor people do not carry on their income deficit into the next year if they want to reduce poverty and hardships amongst them in 2021. In this respect, the 2020 Edition of our festive resource provides some good tips and hints on way of reducing income deficit.
More information about this year’s Edition of Festive Income Booster has been provided under the Main Development section of this post.
• Skills to Cope with Financial and Economic Pressure from Covid-19 and Lockdowns –
Skills Focus from Wednesday 11/11/2020: Financial and Economic Skills
The focus for November 2020 Skills Development is on enhancing skills to manage health uncertainty and economic hardship threats linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the second lockdown.
After looking at the Skills to Manage COVID-19 Health and Economic Uncertainty and Threats (that is, skills to protect the community’s health, healthcare systems and the economy) during the lockdowns, we are now dealing with Financial and Economic Skills that one may need during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns in order to cope with financial and economic pressure.
To develop the skills to cope with this type of pressure, it is better to know what financial and economic pressure does or creates to people, especially to those living in poverty.
• • What financial and economic pressure can do or create
Financial and economic pressure can cause a number of problems such as anxiety, psychological drain or pain, anger, conflict, illness, etc. By acquiring or developing skills, it is possible to deal with these kinds of pressure.
• • Skills Formation and Development to handle financial and economic pressure
Skills can be developed to deal with these issues. There could be a particular skill or a group of skills. For example, we can have a variety of skills as follows:
√ Networking skills for anxiety
√ Social skills for psychological problems
√ Anger management skills for anger
√ Peace-building or negotiation skills for conflicts
√ Healthcare skills for ill people (especially to deal with COVID-19)
√ Job search and social intelligence skills for unemployed people
√ Personal skills to seek and earn help
√ Life-changing skills to transform life for a better one
√ Creative skills to manage the vicious circle created by the second lockdown
√ Digital and distance working skills to work from home
√ Socially distancing skills to reduce the spread of COVID-19
We can even give a more detailed example. Let’s take conflicts for example. Developing advocacy, communication and negotiation skills can enable unhappy and deprived people or communities to overcome the idea of resorting to violence to deal with their problems. They would rather use the tenets of virtuous advocacy, communications strategy and negotiation to bargain their power to change the conditions of their life than using violence.
Besides these skills, they are technical financial and economic skills that could also be considered.
• • Financial and economic skills
Like in any financial and economic course of actions, it is better to deal with its causes and develop coping skills or long term strategies. It means finding the abilities to deal with financial stressors and the causes of the inability to make ends meet on life-sustaining needs.
These abilities include those to do the following:
√ Deal with accounts
√ Create and understand a budget (e.g. a familiy/household budget)
√ Conduct cost-benefit analysis
√ Understand basic financial literacy and numeracy
√ Manage debt and loans
√ Financially manage household matters, etc.
So, this week we are looking at ways of enhancing users with skills where they feel they lack financial confidence or relevant skills to deal with the impacts of financial and economic pressure. One can hope that they can regain the control of their financial and economic situation.
There are many online and print resources and organisations dealing with ways of coping with financial and economic pressure, especially during this time of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns. We have listed some of these resources in the 2020 paper Edition of our Festive Income Boost.
To support the Skills Development month or this week’s skills focus, please contact CENFACS.
• “A la une” (Autumn Leaves of Action for the Upkeep of the Nature in Existence) Campaign, Note No.5 –
In Focus from Week beginning 09/11/2020: Ecosystem Investments
The Note 5 of the Restoration of Ecosystem Infrastructures deals with Ecosystem Investments. An ecosystem investment is part of committed money or capital to ecology with the expectation of achieving additional income or ecological value.
• • Ecosystem investments as value added to ecology
Since CENFACS’ action is on not-for-profit, we are perceiving ecosystem investments from the perspective of adding ecological value rather than making a profit. From this perspective, ecosystem investments are socially responsible investments made in organisations that support or provide environmentally friendly products and practices or sustainability.
In the context of Note 5, they are the kinds of investments that have positive effect on the ecology (that is, on the structure and function of nature) and that are oriented towards the common good. For example, green or renewable energy can be an ecosystem investment. This is because there are approaches on socially responsible investing that tend to include ecological or ecosystem investments within green investments. Furthermore, ecological or ecosystem investments can be part of different asset classes (such as equities, bonds, hedge funds, real estates, commodities, etc.)
• • Actions on the restoration of ecosystem infrastructures through ecological investments
As far as our campaign is concerned, we would like to step up actions on the following investments:
√ Those that add value to the restoration of ecosystem infrastructures
√ Those that bring environmentally friendly products and services
√ Those that restore the damaged the structure and function of the nature
√ Those that keep nature healthy, especially as the world enters the new Age of COVID-19
√ Ecosystem restoration investment projects and actions that move to that direction will be the most wanted within the context of this campaign note.
However, one must acknowledge that at the moment the world is experiencing a difficult time with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and severe economic downturn as a result of the pandemic. This means that the current situation will affect ecological investments since attention is devoted in COVID-19 investments.
For example, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1) argues in its World Investment Report 2020 that
“the COVID-19 pandemic will severely curtail foreign investment in Africa in 2020” (p. 30).
This could suggest that there could be also the curtailing of ecological investments in Africa as well. One could hope that after this gloomy time foreign investment including ecological one will bounce back in the post-pandemic economic reconstruction.
In meantime, our campaigning action will continue so that when the economic reconstruction starts ecological investments are not left behind.
For further information about this Note 5 and actions relating to it, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
(1) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2020: World Investment Report 2020, United Nations, Geneva
• Coming Next Week: The 11th Women and Children FIRST Development Day – In Focus on 19/11/2020: Coronavirus Talk Bubbles
High on the next week’s agenda will be our 11th Development Day. CENFACS’ Development Day is an additional opportunity to re-communicate its poverty relief message and other messages to support those living in poverty as well as re-engage with our stakeholders. At this exceptional time of the coronavirus pandemic, there is even a greater need to amplify our voice for the reduction of sanitation poverty bought by COVID-19.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the second lockdown, our Development Day will not be held in the way as it should have been. Instead, we are advising those who can to hold a Coronavirus Talks Bubble where people can discuss the effects of the coronavirus on child care and women or mothers. They can as well exchange ideas on coping and survival strategies against the coronavirus and lockdowns. To the main topic of the day, they can add any relevant issues of concern relating to women and children during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown times.
These talks can be held within their usual coronavirus bubble or they can form new coronavirus bubbles for the occasion of the Development Day. They can as well be hosted virtually.
For those who are going to undertake such activities, they need to remember to observe the coronavirus restrictions and rules.
For example, in England under the new national restrictions from 5 November 2020, there are circumstances in which one is allowed to meet others from outside their household or support bubble in larger groups, but this should not be for socialising and only for permitted purposes. Parent and child groups can continue to meet where they provide support to parent and or child, and children under 5 will not be counted within the 15 person limit – meaning parents and carers can attend such groups in larger numbers.
For the effectiveness of the Development Day, it could be a good idea to share with us your experience of Coronavirus Talk Bubbles. This will be useful for learning and development as well as for future project and programme developments.
If anybody has any concern about the organisation of the year’s Development Day, please let CENFACS know.
• Covid-19 Campaign: 4-Week Lockdown 2 Programme
Lockdown can have both positive and negative effects on people’s lives. Regarding people in most need, it is proven that the distributional effects of the lockdown can be uneven. Lockdown can have more negative effects than positive ones on them. In the context of the Covid-19 Campaign, we are working through a 4-week programme to address negative effects linked to both health and economic consequences from the coronavirus and lockdowns.
• • What is 4-Week Lockdown 2 Programme?
It is a set of projects and activities helping to reduce the negative effects of the coronavirus and the second lockdown experienced by potential beneficiaries in the UK, particularly but not exclusively health and economic pressure. The fact that people stay home during the second lockdown with restrictions on free movement of themselves and mobility can cause a number of issues such as loneliness, mental pressure, financial problem, isolation, inactivity, etc. The same people are continuing to deal with the side effects of the first shock waves of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
This programme of work is designed to support the community to stay active and resilient against the coronavirus pandemic during the four weeks of lockdown in England and beyond. The programme does not replace our Covid-19 Campaign. Instead, it reinforces it and is part of it. Although this programme is for four weeks, it can be extended depending on the lockdown and its effects.
• • What is inside this programme?
There are all the tools (e.g. the Cube of Protection against the Coronavirus Pandemic) we designed during the first shock waves of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Triple Value recreational activities which we ran during the same period are also part of this programme of work with the community. Also are included in this programme: any new project, activity and campaign theme that may be launched in order to deal with the negative effects of the second lockdown.
For those who may be interested in this programme or who think that this programme may be of help to them or others, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
• Mission Year, Skills Development and the Second Lockdown
How to carry out a mission of poverty reduction through the development of skills during the second lockdown
CENFACS’ 2020 Mission Year is a coordinated plan by CENFACS to provide what is needed and necessary to support any efforts of poverty reduction. This month, we will be trying to find a room for manoeuvre for our Mission Year to take place in this challenging context of the COVID-19 lockdown 2 so that skills can be developed and maintained by those in need to continue their fight against poverty as well as against life-threatening and –destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This is our mission year task for this month.
To enquire about CENFACS’ Mission Year in the Month of Skills Development during the second lockdown, please contact CENFACS.
• Festive Income Booster – In Focus for 2020 Edition: Income Deficit –
How Not to Carry Forward Income Deficit into 2021
• • What this year’s Festive Income Booster is about
The Festive Income Booster is CENFACS’ Autumn ICDP (Autumn Individual Capacity Development Programme) and poverty-relieving resource that provides some income generation leads and tips. The 2020 Edition of this ICDP resource will be on Income Deficit rather than ways of generating income.
• • The context of this year’s Festive Income Booster
The coronavirus pandemic has threatened and destroyed many ways and skills for earning little extra income for poor people and families on modest incomes. Many small jobs and income-earning activities have been destroyed or paused by the health emergency posed by the coronavirus pandemic. There have been disruptions of earnings, inability to save, incapacity to pay household bills, a sharp fall in spending on non-essential items, etc. The second lockdown in England and in other countries tells the all story about the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have pushed poor people and families further into poverty and vulnerability. This situation combined with the restrictions on health and on free movements of persons has made the matter even more difficult for those people, although these measures have been taken in the interest of the public health and the economy.
In these difficult circumstances, it is difficult for many poor people and families to find opportunities (which simply are not currently available on the market, and if there are, only a few of them) to make little extra income. Because of that, this year’s Edition of Festive Income Boost will focus on the ways and/or skills to reduce the gap between poverty threshold (line) on the hand end, and poor families’ income on the other so that these families can start in 2021 in less troubling situation or with less income deficit. In doing so, one can help them not carry forward income deficit in the next year. Reducing income deficit will give them some breathing space and start the New Year on a sound note or improved basis.
So, this is the general context of the 2020 Edition of Festive Income Boost, in which ways or skills to close the gap between income and poverty, between net income and poverty threshold/line will be dealt with for poor people and families, until such a time they can turn their income deficit into income surplus.
• • Who it is for
Festive Income Boost is for Multi-dimensionally Income Poor Children, Young People and Families (MIPCYPFs) and it is designed to support them throughout the entire festive season and beyond.
• • Key Highlights
As the focus for this year’s edition is on Income Deficit, the resource includes the following items:
– How to reduce income deficit (Income deficit can be reduced either by increasing income or decreasing spending. This is a basic principle to avoid and reduce income deficit).
– How to keep income deficit manageable or smaller
– End-of-the-year earning opportunities to cover the deficit
– Coronavirus occupational opportunities
– How to earn and save money when you are in lockdown
– Online opportunities since non-essential economic activities are closed
– How to manage spending during the lockdown and COVID-19 time
– Tips and hints to make your lockdown savings
For example, the first coronavirus lockdown showed that it is possible to spend less and save more. It has changed people’s spending habits and plans as many studies revealed.
• • What other highlights it covers
The resource covers some ways of dealing with the following:
√ Casual job interview questions (online, video call and distance job interviews)
√ Seasonal job search techniques (for both online and print searches)
√ Job search engines and leads
√ Guidance on job applications and CV
√ Reference building techniques
√ Job adverts
√ Credit history or score
√ Diary of online job fairs and events
√ Job matching to person specification and profile
√ Online job fraud and scams, etc.
It goes further in exploring e-skills and steps that poor families can take to skill up themselves.
In addition, the resource covers security and protection matters when trying to reduce income deficit or generate a little extra income to make ends meet. In this respect, it deals again with the general data protection regulations, child protection and safeguarding issues as well as COVID-19 restrictions for jobs where these requirements apply.
The resource does not there as it includes online job scams and job advert scams which sometimes could increase in a period like of crisis as there are always unscrupulous players on the market who try to take advantage of any crisis.
• • What’s more?
The resource finally reminds us the areas of law or legal requirements in terms of whatever we do to try to reduce income deficit or raise additional household income to reduce poverty.
• • How to access this resource
The resource will be available as a booklet from CENFACS e-Store. It is normally free of charge but we will appreciate a donation of £5 to help us help reduce poverty and the cost of renewing and producing this resource on an annual basis. At this turbulent time of the second lockdown, we need financial help like many voluntary and charitable organisations do.
To order and or find out more about the Autumn ICDP resource, please contact CENFACS with your contact details.
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Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.
Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.
We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.
With many thanks.