Special request to support our rural communities in India
Together, we can flatten the curve!
The pandemic COVID-19 has created a challenging and uncertain time for all of us. We sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy.
At SOPAR-Bala Vikasa, our priority is people.
• Our concern today is to ensure the health and safety of our 350 staff, 10,000 volunteers and more than 300,000 women and girls as well as 200,000 men and boys from around 750 villages (mainly in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) in India with whom we work directly.
• We are implementing preventive measures following the recommendations made by the governments’ health and safety authorities to avoid any unintended spread of COVID-19.
The impact of COVID-19 on our programs in India: Our implementing partner Bala Vikasa is developing an action plan to adapt to the rapidly evolving situation.
• We are currently reaching our program members through mobile phones and sharing videos to raise awareness about COVID-19 and its risks, to promote good sanitation and hygiene.
• Our Water Program must continue to provide purified water in more than 1000 villages. In such a situation, project operators are sanitizing taps regularly, ensuring appropriate social distancing and giving awareness to the villagers on COVID-19.
Experts say that India could be especially at severe risk due to poor health facilities and infrastructure.
Starting March 24th 2020, the entire population of India is in lockdown for 21 days to combat Coronavirus spread. This will bring chaos and have a significant economic impact on rural poor communities especially our women members who depend on their daily wage to feed their children and to survive. Local government is taking measures and doing its share of giving some rice and pulses to all poor families, but it is not enough. Many cannot even afford to have access to water and soaps to follow basic hygiene measures.
The COVID-19 crisis will have a huge impact on our financial situation.
• Some major donors have already informed us of funding cuts.
• Our People Development Training Center in India has been requisitioned by the Telangana State Health Services should extra space be required for infected citizens. The closure of our center leads to cancellation of various internal and external training which would lead to revenue loss.
If this situation continues, it is going to be more and more difficult in managing our programs and human resources. We are doing our best with different scenarios to limit the negative effects of this crisis on our programs.
We rely on compassionate and generous donors like you to continue to reach out to the rural poor in India. In this urgent and unprecedented situation, we are asking if you could do something special. We hope you can contribute towards our COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
These funds will enable our front line staff and volunteers to continue providing services while developing innovative ways to reach out to the communities, to bring awareness on ways to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and of other infections, and to provide the most needy in our communities with essential provisions.
We thank you for considering our request. Every donation will help.
Note: Our office staff in Canada and India are working from home until further notice. All our meetings are taking place via video or teleconference. As usual, you can communicate with us via phone or email and we will respond to you shortly.