Many people are asking about the best ways to respond to COVID. Immediate crisis relief seems to be the option most people gravitate towards. However, it’s not sufficient to provide direct cash transfers – there needs to be a more systemic view towards a COVID response strategy. For example, schools are closed and children are not learning. How can organisations work towards rebuilding the education ecosystem so that children can return to schools, especially the most vulnerable students that lack access to computers and smart phones.
Peepul (an education non-profit working across Delhi and Madhya Pradesh) has reorganized themselves completely to deal with COVID, with the organization bandwidth and resources split across (1) short term, (2) medium term and (3) long term response measures.
In the short term, they are providing urgent community support (food and direct benefits for the 8 communities that the 1,000 children who study in their 3 schools belong to). What does this involve?
- Direct money transfers into the Bank accounts of the neediest parents (supported by a fundraiser) – Aid of Rs20 lakhs+ to 380 families on the ground.
- Tieups with Feeding India and Zomato for delivery of groceries. Identified 15 parent champions as community mobilisers from 8 communities as our task force for the grocery distribution and implementation.
- Sharing important information such as relief schemes introduced by the govt, information on Covid safety measures, list of nearby cooked food distribution centers, how to raise ration e-coupon, etc.
This is a time for society to come together and help each other. Through partnerships and a structured approach, we can not only directly support communities but also rebuild systems that will emerge stronger, faster, greater.
This is a crisis, for sure. But, in each crisis lies an opportunity to rebuild, revitalize and reorient the system towards creating a nexus of good 🙂