News from our partners – AKS
At the time of writing India has recorded 5,480 cases of Covid-19 and 164 deaths. India’s government instigated a 21-day lockdown at the end of March.
Our partners Asha Kiran Society (AKS) work with 16 remote communities in Odisha, India. Rope supports their Multi-Lingual Education (MLE) centres, which provide around 600 children with primary level education. 51 young people from these village communities have been trained to teach at these centres.
Our partners report that they were able to complete all the end of year evaluations and exams at all the centres before the lockdown came into place. Schools in this part of India run from June to March and so the children are now on their summer holidays. AKS is hopeful that schools can start again for the next academic year in June.
AKS also runs a 40-bed community hospital for these rural communities and they have been preparing themselves to support local people who might contract the virus. Rope has an Emergency Fund and we have already been able to send additional funds to enable AKS to purchase personal protective equipment for the healthcare staff and contribute to the costs of delivering information about COVID-19 to the villages. The community outreach work, which includes the MLE centres, means that the team were very well placed and have the trust of the communities to rapidly reach local people and give good-quality information on keeping safe to the communities.
AKS expresses concern about the migration of people out of cities to their communities as people seek ‘safer’ places to stay. This will put even more pressure on those limited resources within these rural communities as well as increasing the risk of the infection spreading.
- Give thanks to God for placing our partners near these vulnerable communities and for the good relationships they have built with them, which has enabled them to help to protect these communities quickly;
- For protection for all staff in the hospital as they care for the sick and vulnerable;
- Give thanks that the children’s exams were not interrupted; pray that they might be able to progress on in their education without further disruption after their school holidays;
- That the children, their families and their communities would be kept safe by God from the virus and may know His peace;
- For God’s provision of food and other needs the communities have if resources become more stretched;
- For protection from the virus for the people of India and comfort for those who have lost loved ones