A new group of volunteers recently completed the Caring Mums training. For the first time, training was shifted mid-way; from face-to-face to Zoom. Nonetheless, the volunteers felt connected and developed strong bonds with each other.
One of our new volunteers, Leeora, shares her meaningful experience.
"As my life returns to its previous rhythm, I am already feeling the sting of losing twelve animated faces on my screen. Two weeks into our program, just enough time to establish my preferred seat in the room, our training and many other details that fill out a day, came to a halt. I was feeling deflated. I had waited some time for a vacancy in my life to join Caring Mums. The timing of this training could not have been better suited, wedged between completing my studies and ending a few days before a planned family trip, it all seemed to be stacking neatly.
When COVID-19 arrived on our shores, there was a suggestion of our program going online, but how would this translate? Our training while instructional was also inclusive and dynamic, it needed our bodies in the room. I admit, I had previously been the first to sneer at those professing the good times they had with friends on Zoom. An online platform seemed inimical to forging genuine connection and group conversation. After a trial conversation on Zoom the group decided to try to meet online. Emerging needs for new mums in lockdown was becoming known, we just needed to adapt and move swiftly with this sweep of change.
Fast forward two months and my cursor lingers on the leave conversation button. Yes, there were hitches, but no more than I have experienced in a conventional meeting. I suspect it was more than the urgent call to support mums in this new reality that made my virtual training succeed. I felt held by an excellent coordinator whose empathy even seeped through the screen. I was part of group of volunteers brave enough to have their role play be critiqued online. We showed up, despite our digital hesitancy and connected. The learnings from this training are still surfacing. My main take away from this time with Caring Mums is that even in this time of narrowing in, I am sitting with this this feeling of possibility and connection."
X Leeora, New Caring Mums Volunteer