by Corinne Yank, GoPhil Communications Manager
Below is an update we received from Scott and the AVANI team on Monday, April 20th:
Our first 300 ‘Food Relief Kits’ (pictured above) we will be distributing to families in the waste picker slums. Our target is to reach 1,200 families in the Kolhapur district, 500 families in the Satara district, and 500 families in the Sangli district.
Each food relief kit contains enough supplies to feed a family of 5 for a month. Anuradha met with government officials in all 3 districts and persuaded them to each also supply 12 lbs of rice and 12 lbs of wheat flour per family.
Having quickly planned a massive food relief effort to reach thousands of families in crisis in India, AVANI was one of the first GoPhil partners to receive financial support from the Rapid Response Fund. True to the AVANI way, this relief program was developed alongside strong and vocal advocacy, which successfully garnered attention and support from the local government and community leaders.
AVANI Self-Help Groups are busy making 5,000 protective masks to be included in these Food Relief Kits.
Immediate action taken by AVANI combined with an unprecedented level of cooperation among local stakeholders and rapid support from the GoPhil community have resulted in a robust, locally-led and informed relief effort that will potentially save thousands of lives.
As we heard from Anuradha during the Virtual GoPhil Gathering (recording below) on April 17th, the extended national lockdown is causing more of an immediate problem for communities than the virus itself, hence the focus on basic needs support. Anuradha also stressed the importance of grassroots mobilization in order to swiftly identify and support the families with the most urgent needs: “First and foremost, the most important thing we are doing is mobilizing community leaders.”
We are so motivated and inspired by the GoPhil community members who quickly rallied behind AVANI and other GoPhil partners during this time of unprecedented and critical need!