News from our Partners – AKS, India
At the time of writing India has recorded 301,579 cases of Covid-19 and 8,553 deaths. India’s government instigated a lockdown at the end of March. The lockdown has been extended several times, now until end of June, however India is beginning to unlock.
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 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 soon but are reviewing the situation.
AKS also runs a 40-bed community hospital for these rural communities and Rope supported them financially through our Emergency Fund to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for the healthcare staff as well as carrying out a community outreach programme ensuring that local communities gained good-quality information on keeping safe.
AKS are continuing to reach out into these communities and are about to begin a third outreach. They are planning house to house identification of Covid-19 vulnerable people (the elderly, disabled and those with underlying health conditions) providing them each with a washable face mask, soap and teaching them how to protect themselves from the disease. They estimate that there are 8,000 people who fall into this category in their communities and they are aiming to reach 90% of them. This is particularly important as Covid-19 could decimate some of these special populations who are considered Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups. We are delighted that Rope’s Emergency Fund has been able to support this initiative.
- 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;
- That the children, their families and their communities would be kept safe by God from the virus and may know His peace;
- Give thanks that Rope’s Emergency Fund has been able to support AKS as they reach out to the vulnerable members of the tribal peoples;
- Pray that the elderly, disabled and those with underlying health conditions will be protected from contracting the virus;
- For protection from the virus for the people of India and comfort for those who have lost loved ones