Six months since lock down measures were introduced in the UK and around the world, we wanted to give a brief overview of what is happening in with our programmes. While the level of infections and extent of lock down varies widely in our project areas, our local teams have done a fantastic job in finding ways to continue support to our communities, while mitigating against the spread of the virus. Here are a few examples of the activities taking place.
Schools remain closed in Nepal, but we are anticipating the opening of some rural schools in the near future. Our Saathi teachers underwent 2 weeks quarantine at a local centre and have now returned to their posts. They are preparing the classrooms for the new school year, and providing catch up lessons to small groups of children in the community using specially developed worksheets.
School leavers this year were unable to take the SEE examination, so HELP has developed a rigorous essay and interview process to select applicants for the scholarship programme. Over 100 potential scholars have been interviewed on zoom and are being giving counselling and support on how to choose a further course of study.
Here you see Kusum decorating a classroom at Leharka school.
Our focus in Tanzania has been on food security. We have continued to distribute business start up grants to HIV positive women with training largely focused on agricultural projects which are most likely to succeed in the current climate. 60 women have received grants since March and been trained by government extension workers in crop growing and animal husbandry skills. We have put Covid prevention methods in place, training small groups in spacious settings, while providing masks and hand sanitizers.
Here you can see Sinyati harvesting green bananas.
Our schools in India remain closed, but teachers have worked tirelessly to provide online lessons, distribute worksheets or teach small groups face to face. Mondo has provided a hardship fund to help support our teachers most of whom have been paid very little since the start of this crisis.
In the cover photo for this post, you can see a small group lesson taking place at New Rise.