India now has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, with over 1.48 million confirmed cases and over 33,400 deaths.
For the Vision Rescue team, it was evident from the beginning of this crisis that they would have put some of their programs on hold to divert resource and energy to food security for the families within the slum communities and their efforts have been tireless and continuous and well received.
“Each time we supply grocery bags to our families, they are so thankful because lives in slums are affected badly. We have distributed four rounds of grocery bags to our families so far. Through our partnerships with other network NGOs and Community Leaders running community kitchens we are also helping those not in our usual case management.”
While much focus has turned to health and food security, Vision Rescue continues to keep education a focus running a series of online modules until the children can meet again in classrooms.
One of the critical motives for running these classes is to engage parents actively in their children’s education and also ensure that they are in contact regularly. Depression and suicide rates have increased exponentially, highlighting the need to keep engaging with families wherever possible. Case officers work with health teams, so that they too can guide families accordingly.
Women have also been making masks for distribution within the community, and by doing so will earn through labour charges. 2,800 washable masks have been made so far and already another NGO purchased 2,500 from them and placed an order for another 2,500 masks. Through vocational training and forecasting how many will need to be produced and sold, these women are able to earn 5,000rupees a month.
As a team, Vision Rescue are prayerful that everyone will come through strong, healthy and united, out of this crisis. There are certainly hopeful signs at the community level with leaders, community champions, families, NGOs and government organisations working hand in hand.
Please continue to pray for Biju Thampy and the Vision Rescue team as they continue to support the slum communities of Mumbai.