Alleviating COVID Impact Across the Ecosystem

It’s a new time and one that requires quick action, strong partnerships with governments to respond effectively and the use of good judgment in decision-making. 

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.
Medium Term Measures (named Reach & Teach): Peepul has started Reach and Teach programme to support the South Delhi Corporation to continue education 2.5 Lakh children, even when schools are shut and hence prevent COVID 19 from distorting and damaging children’s education. Since the school closure, children have been trying to deal with an absence of teaching and learning environment, peers and support structure at school. If this continues for a while, the repercussions would include the loss of an entire academic year’s worth of learning. Peepul is reaching out to students through parents’ phones and the internet to provide them with quality education through exciting, attractive and relevant material curated and created by Peepul teachers. These digital lessons can also be supported by parents as they are sent in a systematic and easy to understand manner.
Long Term Measures or e-Training Capsules: These are curated, digital course packages, focused on a typical government teachers’ realities and needs. This program is rolling out in Delhi and MP in the next week and will impact 275,000+ teachers across a 100,000+ government schools. These training modules look to enable and equip teachers for the time when they return to classrooms: learning the basics of managing every child in their classroom sensitively and effectively, building their foundational understanding of how students learn, and helping them develop a deeper knowledge of the subjects they teach, so they can become true educators to their students. These e-Training Capsules are curated by a top team of experts in education, child psychology, special education needs and adult learning, to make this effective for the teachers. This program is rolling out in Delhi and MP in the next week and will impact 275,000+ teachers across a 100,000+ government schools.

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 🙂 

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