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May 29, 2020

Thanks to the heroic efforts of our staff & volunteers

Beneficiaries collect rations
Beneficiaries collect rations

As the lockdown enters its third month, and the number of infections continue to rise, we have been relentless in our efforts to make sure that no one is left hungry and that rations reach far and wide. 

Boise Tamil Sangam and VOICE Trust decided to work together on plans to assist 300 marginal and tribal families in 15 villages of Manachanallur Block of Trichy. BOISE Tamil Sangam is an alliance of Tamilians who have settled in the USA. We were blessed to receive a generous grant from them and we immediately mobilized our volunteers to organize the distribution.

Our field volunteers put together a package containing 5 kilos of rice, 1 kilo wheat, 1 kilo red gram, 100 grams each of condiments, 1 litre oil, soap, sanitary napkin, salt, 1 kilo sugar, and 100 grams of tea powder, which they distributed to each family of what ended up being 352 families.  

Earlier this month, we distributed biscuits donated by a local bakery to many homeless individuals and hot lunches to manual workers, day wage earners, and street vendors, all of whom otherwise would have little to eat that day.  We have plans to keep repeating the distribution cycle to all the beneficiaries as often as we are able.

All through the distribution activity, police protection was arranged to avoid overcrowding and ensure the safety of beneficiaries as well as our volunteers. Social distancing was strictly followed by issuing tokens to beneficiaries. Only 10 people were called at a time to queue up for rations. The volunteers donned masks and gloves and used disinfectants to protect themselves and everyone around them. 

I think you can proud of the work you helped fund, and of our selfless volunteers.

As always, thanks for your past support and for any future help you can offer.

Stay well -- stay safe -- stay home!

Janet Preethi

Rations assembled for distribution
Rations assembled for distribution
No one is left without food
No one is left without food
A safe social distance keeps everyone safe
A safe social distance keeps everyone safe
This may be their only meal all day
This may be their only meal all day

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May 7, 2020

Our activities during the COVID-19 lockdown

As with most things today, our project to enlist schoolchildren in the fight against global warming has been put on hold until the current emergency has passed.  But we remain committed to helping children learn how to plant and nurture as a way to cool both their immediate environment and the planet, and look forward to resuming our efforts as soon as we can.

Meanwhile, we are scrambling to provide emergency food and supplies to the thousands of families who no longer have the income that jobs as daily wage workers, street vendors and migrant workers used to provide.   We have been offering a mid-day meal to groups in need that some of the children told us was all they would have to eat that day.

We are grateful for your past support and are hoping trees that the trees you helped the children plant will have managed to survive without regular nurturing during the crisis.  Although I realize that some of you have yourselves been coping with a drastic loss of income, if you are able to make an additional donation to help make sure that the schoolchildren are adequately fed during this time, you can donate to provide food, funds & support for India's COVID-19 victims .

Wishing you strength and safety during this difficult time --

Janet Preethi

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Apr 8, 2020

A ray of hope in a difficult time

Like much of the rest of the world during this difficult time, the team at Voice Trust is working from home, doing our best to keep our children entertained and our families fed -- and scrambling to meet the demands of a wholly unexpected catastrophe.  India is in complete lockdown, which means all transport has ground to a halt, leaving farmers with no way to deliver their crops to wholesalers or market them by the side of the road.  And, in any case, with all restaurants shuttered and families so stretched that fruit and vegetables have become a luxury item, demand for their products has evaporated.  And these farmers live even closer to the edge than many elsewhere, which means without an income they are in danger of starvation.

As you likely remember, GlobalGiving has been negotiating with the Indian government for over a year now, trying to find a way to disburse funds to Indian banks.  But although they are making some progress, a solution is not yet in sight.

But happily, Health & Education 4 All International, a charity based in the United States, has kindly agreed to act as our fiscal sponsor, meaning GlobalGiving can disburse your past donations to them and they will transmit the funds to us.  So we will soon be able to get to work distributing emergency food and supplies and cash grants to those most in need.  We will try to target those young farmers who are in danger of losing everything if they don't get help.   

Crops ready for harvest now are in danger of being left to rot in the field by farmers who often can't harvest them without migrant labor, even if they could find a way to sell them.  So we will also be exploring ways to purchase their produce directly in order to distribute it to families in need.

If you are able to further support our efforts, you can now donate to this project or to the new project we have launched to provide emergency COVID-19 relief, with the confidence that it will be put to good use immediately.

As always, thanks for your past support and for any future help you can offer.

Stay well -- stay safe -- stay home --

Janet Preethi

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