Coronavirus: This organisation will support 250,000 families over the next three months
The coronavirus pandemic has recorded over 550 deaths in India so far, with more than 17,000 cases, according to Worldometer. Last week, the government extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3 to stem the spread of the infection. While some states are flattening the curve, most are reporting new cases every day.
Though offices and commercial areas remain shut and people have been asked to work from home, groceries and essential services are still available, with establishments directed to practise social distancing religiously.
But it’s the migrant workers, daily wagers, and the other underprivileged families rendered jobless who are facing the brunt of the situation. These families are struggling to get one square meal a day and the basic essentials for survival.
ChildFund India, a child protection and development organisation, is planning to support nearly 2,50,000 families across the country over the next three months, and scale-up in the next few months towards rehabilitation.
“India and the rest of the world is in a grave situation. A large part of the population we serve is the migrant population in both urban and rural settings, which is the most affected section of the society in today’s scenario,” says Neelam Makhijani, Country Director and CEO of ChildFund India.
ChildFund International has been functioning for almost seven decades, assisting millions of children and their families in over 25 countries. The India chapter reaches about 3.5 million children every year through it long-term programmes incorporating health, nutrition, sanitation, gender equality, disability, education, arts, skill training, livelihoods, child protection, and humanitarian relief work.
Childfund has provided over 6000 children with art supplies.
Over the last few weeks, ChildFund India has already distributed basic hygiene and sanitation items to more than 16,000 people, art and craft supplies to nearly 5,000 children for their home-based learning, and has spread awareness on the prevention and management of COVID-19 among thousands. They are also carrying out WASH (Water and Sanitation, Hygiene) to make people aware of hygienic practices key to the prevention of COVID-19.
“We’re working hard to provide support to these vulnerable families, their children and the communities at large who are in desperate need of the lifesaving support. As you know, the need is large and resources limited, we need support to reach as many families as possible with our response,” says Neelam.
ChildFund India has launched its response to fight the COVID-19 crisis on the national level, which is being approached in two phases. The first phase focuses on providing relief support and the second phase emphasises rehabilitation of the affected families.
Distribution of relief materials
On March 25, ChildFund India, along with five other leading child development organisations, formed an alliance called Joining Forces For Children – India.
“ChildFund is proud to be a part of the Joining Forces For Children – India alliance, which is committed to extend its support to the Government of India in this time of national crisis and to serve the best interests of children. Through the appeal, submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office and other government offices, we are trying to ensure that the well-being of the most vulnerable children is not compromised. The only solution is to stand in solidarity, collaborate and fight this back,” says Neelam.
The group aims to prioritise and identify the most vulnerable children for prevention and response interventions, to provide uninterrupted access to critical services for these children, along with providing child-friendly outreach messages. They also wish to protect children in child care institutions, and, as much as possible, prevent separation and stigma of child and caregiver, along with scaling up investment in child protection system strengthening.