Jun 18, 2021

Battling second wave of COVID-19 in Rural Uttar Pradesh, India

ASHA workers disturbuting COVID-19 medicine kits
ASHA workers disturbuting COVID-19 medicine kits

In the battle against COVID-19, rural areas were always the most vulnerable with inadequate testing facilities, healthcare, and lack of awareness. Unlike the first wave, the second wave has traveled deeper in rural areas of India and spreading much faster. The deadly second wave of COVID-19 has collapsed the biggest of health care providers in the country. Volunteers, organizations, and the government have tirelessly been working to provide aid and fulfill the shortage of oxygen, beds, and medicines in urban India.

Already, rural areas are the most vulnerable with inadequate testing facilities, healthcare and a rising crisis of an acute shortage of basic medicines to treat Covid-19 has crumbled the very few and handful health care services in rural villages. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the largest population of India resides, the common and growing fear of ‘Viral fever’ has left the villagers helpless. Rural areas are far from getting oxygen cylinders, a large majority of the population in villages are succumbing to death due to medicine shortage to treat even the mildest symptoms of Covid-19 such as fever. Lack of or limited access to testing capabilities means a large majority of cases are neither detected nor recorded. With no access to even the most basic of medicines like Paracetamol, Zinc, Vitamin C, Antibiotics along with the absence of oximeters and thermal scanners, etc, the community health workers are left powerless and burdened against the growing cases. 

A plethora of evidence continues to be highlighted by the medical fraternity around the world that the most common symptoms of Covid-19 such as fever, cough, etc can be treated at home with routine antibiotics. According to WHO, 80 percent of people recover from Covid-19 without needing hospital treatment. With either no health care centers or collapsed ones, most of the common symptoms of COVID-19 cases are failing to be treated, leading to unprecedented deaths in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh.

For the last 13 years, Milaan has been committed to serving the most vulnerable communities in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh where 80% of its population is under the poverty lines. With our school situated in the heart of Sitapur, our COVID-19 rapid response team is working directly with the ONLY health delivery infrastructure of the government in Sitapur and supporting 17 Community Health Centers and a resilient workforce of 1000+ women frontline health workers known as ASHA and ANM. 

With support from donors like you, we have been able to respond to the most pressing need of basic medicines required to treat COVID-19 patients and deliver 10,000 medicine kits consisting of the most essential medicines required to treat the symptoms of COVID-19 in-home care. This has further enabled the army of ASHA and ANMs who work within the communities and visit families to effectively respond and stop the spread of the virus. 

The need in rural areas is much graver, as rural communities battle the second wave and prepare for the third, actively responding to the urgent needs of healthcare systems in these villages and taking action can save millions of lives. Our goal to deliver 10,000 medicine kits has grown to 50,000 medicine kits in a matter of few days. Your continuous support and action can help us deliver a large-scale impact and serve the most vulnerable voices of India. 

Delivery of medicine kits at CHC in Sitapur, UP.
Delivery of medicine kits at CHC in Sitapur, UP.

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Jun 16, 2021

Harnessing the Power of Technology to Empower and Educate Girls in Vulnerable Communities

Empowering girls through technology!
Empowering girls through technology!

Adolescent girls in marganilised communities of India continue to face adverse effects to their education, safe spaces, health, and safety due to the pandemic. Continued lockdown, school closures and no access to digital infrastructures mean adolescent girls have no access to information, education, or safe spaces. They are burdened with domestic care with a high chance of dropping out of school and increased child marriages.

A report from Malala Fund indicates that 10 million adolescent girls will never return back to school to complete their secondary education. Today, India stands at a critical juncture and at a risk of losing 70 years of progress made in girls' education. 

For India to achieve economic progress, fight the adversities of the pandemic, and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, adolescent girls play the role of a silver bullet to help rebuild communities and make sure they thrive. 

The Girl Icon Program 2021 has begun its journey with 6000 adolescent girls in three states of India; Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. We're harnessing the power of technology, life-skills education, and creating safe spaces within the communities for girls to convene, learn and take action. Our work with adolescent girls will ensure they continue their education, return back to schools and take leadership roles in their lives, families and communities. 

Technology has played an important role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. By providing girls with digital infrastructures such as smartphones and data packs, the Girl Icon Program in the year 2021 is transforming the lives of adolescent girls in some of the most vulnerable communities to fight social barriers to their right to education, health, and safety by giving them the most needed technology. 

We couldn't have achieved this without your continuous belief in young women and our work to build the largest movement of girl leaders in India. Increased and continuous investment towards adolescent girls can ensure we harness the power of India's demographic dividend and prepare young women to join the workforce! 

Your support is EMPOWERING thousands of girls to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty for their families and helping them explore their full potential to achieve their dreams. 

The Girl Icon Program 2021, begins!
The Girl Icon Program 2021, begins!
Engaging girls to use smartphones!
Engaging girls to use smartphones!

Links:

Feb 18, 2021

Building Resilient Communities with Adolescent Girls

Covid-19 Awareness Campaign by Girl Leaders
Covid-19 Awareness Campaign by Girl Leaders

Dear Friend, 

 

At Milaan, our work focuses on educating and empowering adolescent girls to become change agents for their families and communities. We envision a world where every girl has knowledge, skills, and a social environment to pursue her dreams and explore her full potential. By 2030 Milaan aims to work with 10 million adolescent girls in India with a thriving network of changemakers and networks. 

In midst of the pandemic, we shifted our operations completely to respond to the rising need for food in the most vulnerable communities. We activated our grassroots network of 374 girl leaders in 4 states of India to map the impact in their communities and respond to the families. Our girl leaders have been trained over two years on a leadership development program that enables them to work for their communities. 

Passionate to lead change and help their communities during the most challenging times, our girl leaders with their network of 10,000 adolescent girls took the frontlines. Apart from building awareness through hand-made posters, they have identified families especially women sole earners, pregnant women, and widows to help women with no support structures survive the pandemic.

2000 such families and 10,000 individuals were supported with ration because of the courage and proactiveness shown by our girl leaders. 

"There are 5 members in my family, my mother being the sole earner, lost her job due to the lockdown due to which we faced difficulty in affording basic necessities. I was relieved to receive dry ration from Milaan". 

In the most unprecedented times, we saw the power of creating grassroots girl leaders! All over the world, young women are fighting for their rights and communities. Their resilience is paramount to build resilient communiites, break the cycle of intergenerational poverty, and violence being faced by girls and women in marginalized communities due to the pandemic. 

As the impact of crisis continues to deepen poverty, we are committed to helping communities in the rebuilding process and continue to build the agency for adolescent girls to address and mitigate myriad challenges faced by girls and women.

Your donation of $40 can support 10 individuals especially families with girls! We have come so far because you stood up to take action. Your continuous support can help us reach more families and continue making a lasting impact. 

Girl Leaders leading the fight against COVID
Girl Leaders leading the fight against COVID
Girl Leaders leading ration disturbution
Girl Leaders leading ration disturbution

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