Since 24 March, India had decided on a total blockage and social distancing as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic. Unfortunately, our expenses continue to be borne by us because throughout this long period of closure we had to cover the costs of renting the premises where our courses were held and we continued to support our teachers financially to help them in this difficult period. To date, the situation in India remains very tragic, there have been 10,520,156 infected and 151,780 dead.
But we don’t give up!
During all this time of closure, our girls were never alone. We tried to maintain a relationship and support them through the use of social networks, such as through the use of Whatsapp. We are pleased to let you know that they are all well and none of them have had any consequences related to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, at the end of January the courses will probably resume and for the occasion we have already equipped the safety devices, buying sanitizers, masks, etc. But the good news does not end here, with the hope of reopening soon the courses we want to share with you some good news:
One of our girls, whom we have supported since she was little, in addition to having achieved a great educational growth by enrolling in the university, got married!
We wish him all the best for his new life and his accomplishments. This is a beautiful testimony of what we’re trying to do in India through this project, giving girls a future by trying to counter the phenomenon of child brides.
Unfortunately, the situation in India does not seem to be improving. More than 1.5 million cases have been recorded since the beginning of the emergency and the number of people who lose their lives to this terrible enemy continues to rise. The country's health and governmental structures are unable to stop the spread of the virus and, especially in the city, the condition of many families continues to deteriorate due to the continuous closure of activities.
As we mentioned in the last report, we took immediate action to help our local contact persons to provide food and hygiene facilities for families in need.
Schools are still closed, so the tailoring courses are at the moment stopped. But we continue to support the girls participating in the tailoring courses and we are in constant contact with them, to avoid that the distancing could negatively affect their already difficult condition. Thanks for the constant support and help, even in this difficult time for everything!
After the lockdown, unfortunately our courses, as many other activities, are momentarily stopped because India is experiencing a somewhat difficult situation. Unfortunately, due to the incredible population density especially in major cities like Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai and considering the precariousness of the Indian health system, the concern for the whole population, and especially for the weakest and most vulnerable, is very large: few people will be able to escape the contagion and not all patients will be able to be taken care of. In addition to this invisible enemy, which is covid19, the Indian people must also cope with hunger. The worst damage is already caused by the blockade: closed schools means children without food and kids exposed to the dangers of the road; closed shops means thousands of unemployed people without the possibility of earning even a few rupees a day that previously allowed them to survive. In Tamil Nadu the situation is not better.
We must do something!
Recently John Upalt, our local referent and president of the MTSSO (Mother Teresa Social Service Organization) has finally managed to get permission to personally bring food to some of girls we support. Together with his collaborators and some members of the government, he then managed to distribute several masks to the inhabitants of Nagercoil and pockets of food to 75 families of poor villages in the area.The urgency that we are experiencing confronts us with unexpected complex challenges and we try to meet them with commitment, dedication and attention to the others: this spirit has always guided us in our engagement in India.
Now more than ever we need your help to be able to continue the project!
The project is doing great and is starting to work on is own!
Our project manager, Sara, will be in Nargecoil at the end of february for the "graduation ceremony" so she can give to the women whom finished the courses their certificate.
As we mentioned in a previous report all the women, who attended the courses and got a credit to start their own activity, are now working and so they are able to return the credit. This will allow the creation of a fund that will make the project autonomous and sustainable.
During this trip Sara will also speak with our local partner to understand how the project is developing and in how much time it will be possible to reach full sustainability.
As a first step on this direction, this year the returned credit will pay for the lessons!
This would have not been possible without you, dear friend!
But they still need training materials and sewing machines, so we will keep supporting them 'till the project can fully walk on it's legs and continue making the difference in the life of many women, even without our help.
Untill then, we hope you will continue be beside our girls.
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In Nagercoil, around a hundred girls and women are already attending IT and dressmaking classes. Our volunteer referent Sara already signed and delivered more than 30 certificates!
As proof of the importance and sustainability of this project, we found out that the new IT teacher is one of the girls who graduated last year, while another one has recently opened her own tailor’s shop!
Isn’t this just amazing?
With a $30 donation you could purchase three students’ training materials for one month.
With a $100 donation you could purchase a sewing machine, an investment which lasts several years.
You’ll make the difference in these families’ lives!
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