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Apr 17, 2020

Update from the Brick Kilns during COVID-19

Thank you for your continued support, particularly at a time that is so challenging for our global community. I'm writing with an update from our partner's at this project, with some details of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown in India. 

Since lockdown began, our partners have been providing lunch and dinner daily to students and their families in the Brick Kilns. The community there are of course migrant labourers, who are now stuck - unable to return to their home villages. With nothing else to do, and stuck on the site, most of them are still working, but have no access to food. It is therefore essential that these families continue to be provided with the resources to survive.

While we remain committed to our three focuses of education, gender equality and dignified livelihoods it is the immediate relief of the effects of the coronavirus that is needed in the most marginalised communities at present. 

We will continue to send you updates and if you would like to support the our appeal to respond to the effects of the coronavirus in India and Nepal please visit

With warm wishes and gratitude,

Erika Narkiewicz

Apr 17, 2020

Supporting families in slums during COVID-19

Thank you for your continued support, especially during these uncertain and ever-changing times. I'm writing with an update from our project partners on the ground, delivering relief resources to communities in slums who are affected by the lockdown and the harsh environment they are in. 

The work undertaken so far includes conducting phone surveys of people's needs, visiting government offices for information and police departments/stations to get permission for the relief work to continue to go ahead. Groceries are being purchased to alleviate immediate hunger and we are reaching out to tribal communities in the vacinity who are also in need.  

Last week we gave funds directly for food supplies, hygiene kits and to promote effective health awareness with approximately 2500 hostel student families, migrant workers and tribal communities in the area around Amaravati.

While we remain commited to our focus on education, gender equality and dignified livelihoods, in this time of urgent need we are providing crisis relief. If you'd like to support our urgent appeal, please visit

Wishing you and those close to you well.

Warm wishes and gratitude,

Erika Narkiewicz

Mar 19, 2020

"My life has changed, I have dignity in my life."

Dwarkabai addresses women in her village
Dwarkabai addresses women in her village

Dear supporters, 

Thank you for continuing to support the vital work of combating violence against women across India. It feels that community is more important than ever- we continue to share stories of inspiration that you have helped create through your ongoing support.

For marginalised communities across South Asia, women are usually the most vulnerable, often denied an education and married off as property with little choice about their future. Caste hierarchies and normalised abuse are transferred into the home, where almost half of Dalit women report suffering domestic violence. Without intervention and support, many of them will live lives of isolation and victimisation. 

However, Dwarkabai change the trajectory of her life. Illiterate and born into a begging caste, she had no way to learn basic skills such as managing simple finances  or how to open a bank account. After joining a Karuna-supported women's group within this network, she was able to learn these and other skills, and take back control of her own life. Now, she runs the group, assisting more women like her to lift themsleves out of inequality. 

Groups like these don't just provide education; for many they are a home- and the only place they can get help and advice in confidnece when suffering abuse. 

"My life has changed, I have dignity in my life," Dwarkabai explains. 

Thank you for your continued support. During these uncertain times, we are keen to stay in touch with you and keep you updated on any changes in our projects. In the meantime, we hope you are well and continue to value your support.

With warm wishes and gratitude,

Imen Trabelsi 

Karuna Trust 

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