We don’t normally share photos of empty classrooms at Hunar Ghar School, not least because they are normally buzzing with children. However, these are not ‘normal’ times. We are proud to be working with incredible local partners who are working hard to provide support and relief to all our beneficiaries whose lives are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic is challenging communities around the world. We hope that you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well in these difficult times.
We are working closely with our local partners in India to ensure support for community members in our project areas. Our immediate priorities are to ensure awareness and understanding of the current situation and clarity around public health messages.
Hunar Ghar School is a Quarantine Centre
Schools are closed and Hunar Ghar School has been nominated as a government nodal centre. This means that the school infrastructure will be used to quarantine individuals, mainly migrant workers who are returning to the area after losing their employment elsewhere. These workers must be quarantined for 14 days. The government will provide funds for bedding and food for these individuals, but our partner, Rajasthan Bal Kalyan Samiti (RBKS), will be providing staff to run and manage the centre.
Training on Protection Against COVID-19
We have developed guidelines and training on protection against COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread of the virus. These are aimed at all team members on the ground, some of whom will be redeployed as community health workers, who will carry out door-to-door visits. This will enable accurate sharing of information, prompt identification of cases of coronavirus and monitoring of vulnerable households.
We are planning to distribute community packs to all households in Bakhel, so families can keep themselves safe, in accordance with public health guidelines. Packs are likely to include printed information, posters, contact telephone numbers, masks, soap and household cleaning products.
Emergency Food Aid
We are also working with our partners to make sure that families are not going hungry. One of the consequences of the lockdown in India is lack of access to food. We have provided some emergency funding to enable food relief to be delivered to those in urgent need. We are supporting our partners RBKS and Kshamtalaya to work together and with other agencies, community leaders and government officials to ensure awareness of families in need of food, so that government food aid can be provided to these families.
Mobile Phone Access
We will also be asking team members to review community members’ mobile phone access. This is important both for ongoing communication and in case they need to seek medical attention. It may be necessary for us to provide some mobile phone credit for those who do have phones.
We are reviewing with our partners how we can adapt our services and projects over the coming weeks and months to ensure that community members are still able to access healthcare support and that children have access to learning opportunities.
Support our Response
There is a lot of uncertainty ahead, but, we are in this together. Any donations made at this time, will help enable our response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in and around Bakhel. Our response will be dynamic according to emerging needs, but it will also be long-term in line with our commitment to ensuring the community’s access to healthcare and education, now and in the future.