At the end of March, a nationwide lockdown was imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. With just 4-hours-notice, chaos followed, especially for millions of migrant workers who immediately lost their jobs. They poured out of the cities to return home to their families, many on foot, some dying en-route. This mass migration helped spread the virus which, despite currently having the second highest case load globally, is far more prevalent than official figures suggest. Restrictions are easing despite infections and deaths surging. Experts predict the worst is yet to come. Healthcare infrastructure is creaking at the seams as government hospitals and testing centres are overwhelmed, turning patients away.
The poor and marginalised who rely on daily labour, found themselves with no work, no money, no food and little access to healthcare. An aid package was implemented by the government, however those without a voice, those we have been working with for decades, are the ones who continue to fall through the cracks. In the slums, families live in crowded conditions and many are in dire need.
Our team is on the ground, providing food, health, healing, and hope.
This is why we do what we do!
What we are doing
Our immediate response was to introduce awareness campaigns in our schools, slums and rural communities, addressing misinformation and providing sanitiser and soap packs.
Community Health Workers and teachers received additional training, equipping an effective team to serve at the coal face of the unfolding disaster.
Teams deliver handwashing kits to families in rural villages, food packs to the hungry and nutritional supplements to the frail and vulnerable.
Staff at our clinics see thousands of patients in person and many more via tele-medicine. They help the poor access health pathways while clinics work with local government hospitals where possible to provide acute treatment for the critically ill.
Health sub-centres have been established at 10 of our schools to provide basic healthcare in remote areas. We are expanding to 20 sub-centres imminently, with a goal of 50 by the end of the year, and 100 by mid-2021.
Working through our network of over 100 schools, various clinics, and an equipped team of Community Health Workers and other staff, we are striving to protect the most vulnerable, including malnourished children, the elderly, and those suffering from underlying health issues.
Although schools have been closed for many months, our schools have pivoted to online lining, with over 80% of our students accessing lessons through a device and WhatsApp class groups. Parents of students who have no device pick up classwork for their children and return it for marking.
It is always the most vulnerable of all who suffer the most, and our team have worked to prevent desperate families dedicating the daughters as Joginis, intervening to stop arranged marriages of child brides, and pursuing ‘missing girls’ who have been abducted, working with the police to restore them to their families.
Many of the elderly, children, and those with disabilities suffer further from malnutrition. MannaMix is a nutritional supplement made from 20 varieties of pulses and dry fruits which are sauteed individually, mixed together, ground, packaged and distributed to help boost the immunity of these vulnerable people. The product is produced by people affected by HIV and is an income generating activity.
What you can do
But there is so much more to be done. In these unprecedented times, we invite you to help us channel practical help to those who are most in need.
We want to:
- Continue upskilling Community Health Workers for effective response in areas of hygiene education, prevention programmes and tele-medicine
- Supply our clinics with medicines, oxygen and necessary equipment
- Provide urgent life-saving hospitalisation for those in need.
- Transform classrooms to feeding hubs
Our goal is for our centres to be a refuge during this pandemic, providing respite and hope to some of the most impoverished and vulnerable people affected by COVID-19 through the provision of health and mental care, food and nutritional supplements, and the kind of practical help that we so often take for granted.
- $150 Provides 1-Month Salary for a Community Health Worker
- $100 Gives 10 Hand Sanitising Kits to Families in Rural Villages
- $60 Feeds a Family for 1 Month
- Every gift is significant, no matter the size. Non-designated COVID-19 gifts will support and expand our clinics, health care and feeding programmes.
Please note: All donations are fully tax-deductible, thank you for your generous response.
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We Need your Support
These women and children have the odds stacked against them from birth, but education and empowerment can restore their dreams and hopes, bringing transformation not only to them but to their families and to entire communities.