There has been so much work with the inflamed covid situation in India and now even more in the aftermath of massive floods following cyclone Yaas in the last week of May in the Bay of Bengal.
The complete lockdown has been extended until at least mid-June leaving millions of people without an income.
The connectivity system that was put in place last year has been incredibly useful – not only for the ongoing on-line schooling, but also to convey important messages to all our children and their families in this time of crisis and for them to be able to contact us when they have problems.
Our senior children are once again involved with the packing and distribution of food parcels which provides them with positive work and some distraction. Just before the cyclone we distributed 500 parcels with food for 14 days to our day scholar communities and to some of the villagers who were at the epicentre of the cyclone last year.
We also started four community kitchens whilst villagers are waiting for the water to subside. Their livelihoods have been severely affected when saline water rushed through their homes and took their belongings, flooded their land spoiling crops for another year and killed their livestock. These villagers have literally no means to cook and we came up with this temporary solution to cook with them and feed around 600 people per day until they have cleared up some of the mess. Government aid is slowly coming into action now – 2 weeks after the event – to help people rebuild their very simple lives.
Back at Future Hope we have been dealing with three young people in critical condition in hospital, all have come through, but it was quite a scare. Our nurse tested positive as well and so were several other key members of staff. A couple of our senior girls took turns in looking after a little boy who had to be accompanied in hospital. They were brilliant and full of care whilst Ankul was so ill, in pain and frightened. Our covid ward has a continuous flow of patients in isolation and they are cared for by staff and our alumni. The funds from the Atlas Foundation have been particularly useful to support the additional costs that we incur to run this ward. It is very simple but effective and whilst at one point every other household in Kolkata had the virus, it looks as if new cases are coming down this week. Over the past month we have been able to isolate and care for 32 young people and a few adults.
Today most of our staff and some of our young people who are above 18 were vaccinated with the help of the District Child Protection Unit – free of charge!
Whilst all this goes on the children in our homes are safe and as active and energetic as ever.
Our second podcast of three was released a week ago, this time about the children and how Future Hope has helped them change their lives.
It is called Changing Lives. Future Hope – the Children . I hope you like it.
or the same via https://open.spotify.com/episode/5Z7xvRWCmGS8qWdRcfZ0aZ
Erica Grandage – Future Hope