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Essential workers learning safety via WhatsApp from Kidpower Argentina Center Director Gisella

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well as we enter the holiday season – and that you will find this Kidpower Safety Champions story as inspiring as I do!

“Is there any way Kidpower can help us?” asked a nursing home manager in Argentina as the pandemic hit her town in March.

Every day, scared and angry residents and family members were threatening and screaming at her caregivers. 

Desperate to protect her struggling staff in the face of such new and overwhelming conflict, the manager did not know where to turn for help.

She reached out to our Kidpower Argentina Center Director María Gisella Gámez, who is also a professional interpreter and has donated countless hours to translate our programs into Spanish.

“My caregivers and nurses are completely stressed out,” explained the anxious manager. “Our workers were already afraid for their own health, and now they’re being yelled at constantly and blamed unfairly!”

Thanks to her years of dedicated commitment, Gisella was ready.

She immediately volunteered to teach all of the staff how to use Kidpower’s proven emotional safety and boundary setting techniques to protect themselves.

But, she faced two big obstacles: Gisella couldn’t enter the locked-down facilities, and most of the staff didn’t have Internet access.

Determined to share skills she knew could help the staff, the frail and confused residents, and their scared, angry relatives, Gisella got creative.

In true Kidpower form, Gisella didn’t waste time regretting what people did NOT have. She focused on what they DID have – their mobile phones.

With creativity and compassion, she used WhatsApp to teach Fullpower interactive workshops to 4 people at a time on their phones.

Four at a time, group after group, Gisella taught and taught as the pandemic grew and fears rose.

Together, they practiced how to not let someone’s upset feelings make you feel bad about yourself, how to redirect someone from venting to problem-solving, and how to set boundaries in caring and powerful ways.

At a time when these caregivers felt scared, alone, and attacked, Gisella prepared them with skills to manage a daily barrage of fear, anger, and emotional attacks – and with confidence in their power to protect themselves and those in their care, emotionally and physically.

Kidpower Safety Champions like Gisella give their time, their hearts, and their talent to serve people where they are, at the moment it matters.  Our donors, volunteers, trainers, and supporters are the Kidpower Champions at their backs, forming a powerful, global safety team.

Together, with your help, we can provide essential knowledge and skills to:

  • Protect children and vulnerable adults
  • Prepare people in need to stop bullying and abuse, and
  • EmPower everyone to take charge of their safety, their relationships, and their lives!

Our goal is to reach $25,000 in donations by December 31st – all of which will be matched by the generous members of our leadership circle.

Please donate any amount you can – because every dollar does wonders for the people we serve!

And, if you have already contributed, THANK YOU SO MUCH for being a Kidpower Champion!


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Published: December 20, 2020   |   Last Updated: December 20, 2020

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.