First Round of Crisis Funds Have Been Sent!
Thanks to the quick and generous response from the GoPhil community, initial Rapid Response Funds (RRF) have been distributed to partners in India and other regions. These funds are already making an impact at the community level. To those of you who have contributed: thank you for rallying behind GoPhil partners during this absolutely critical time!
Grassroots Emergency Relief Underway in India
AVANI and Vikalp Sansthan are two GoPhil partners in India which received RRF disbursements last week. Both are spearheading massive, grassroots relief efforts focused on basic needs in their communities and need all the support they can get.
Recent Updates from AVANI
- Due to the lockdown, millions of day laborers and migrant workers in the region are without work and unable to access food.
- AVANI is flooded with calls from women in the 41 waste-picker communities in Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara, where they have been working since 2014. Each of them have said they do not have any food whatsoever.
- The AVANI nighttime shelters are overrun with homeless women, survivors fleeing violence and other vulnerable people seeking shelter and food.
- AVANI is now partnering with the local government to carry out a food relief program. The local government is extremely overburdened by the rising needs of the community. AVANI set up a food distribution network that can feed a family of 5 for a month for just $18.00. They plan to run this program for a 30 day period before advocating for handoff to the local government.
The AVANI team has identified over 2,200 families that are currently in need of food supplies. This number is growing every day. GoPhil Rapid Response Fund donations are being applied to help them reach more and more families in need.
Recent Updates from Vikalp Sansthan
- The Vikalp team held discussions with women community leaders to get a real sense of the situation and the needs of families in remote rural areas.
- They began delivering emergency food packages to support many single women and their children who have completely lost their daily wages. Other than the support from Vikalp, these women received some wheat from the local government, but nothing more.
- Vikalp began conducting outreach with community members with disabilities and/or special needs and providing them with emergency food support as well.
- Vikalp volunteers are sewing masks to distribute to the most at-risk people in their communities.
- They plan to reach 1,000 needy families in remote areas of Gogunda, Mavli and other low-income communities in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
- As of April 15th, they have reached 400 families, providing them with essential groceries, soap and masks. Each relief package costs approximately $5-10, depending on whether the family already received wheat from the local government or not.
- Recently, a community leader informed Vikalp Sansthan about a group of 16 migrant workers and their children who were stranded after worksites and transportation were shut down due to the lockdown. They had been walking for three days and were hiding in the forest because police had shut down roads. Vikalp was able to act fast and provide the group with food, water and safe transportation in order to get all 16 families home safely.
“When going to remote rural areas, with every step we are learning new things and understanding vulnerabilities of different people.”
• Vikalp Sansthan Team •
Virtual GoPhil Gathering: India
On Friday April 17th, GoPhil hosted a Virtual Gathering focused on India, where we had the chance to hear directly from Usha (Vikalp Sansthan) and Anuradha (AVANI) about the current state of their ongoing emergency relief work. This was a unique opportunity to hear the most up-to-date information, straight from the frontlines.