Just a quick shout out to a few people today who were kind enough to donate rations to help feed the children.
Mandar and friends :
who donated a sack of rice (which was perfect timing as we ran out today), oil (also fantastic as several families are running out and I managed to buy a few packs yesterday but so many families have been asking). Biscuits (also fabulous as we ran out yesterday (we were giving biscuits out with the rice and daal - you've got to have something fun in the rations to keep the kids happy! Tea powder and some dal, kids will tell me what kind when they see it (I'm not an expert with my pulses
She dropped some things off while I was out distributing in the slums, about 10kg of flour / Maida I think (Again, I will ask the kids!
Who has set aside several items for me when I get a chance to pick them up!
As well as this we have had some great support from donations - Thank you for helping us especially at this difficult time.
Also a special thank you to Budhmati, Acchelal and Kaveri who helped distribute the items today
Had a productive day today delivering around 150Kg worth of goods on my poor motorbike. Started very early to beat the rush and had given two families basic ratios, rice, daal, flour and health care items plus biscuits to keep the kids happy. Then returned with a 60Kg bag of potatoes and distributed those to around 30 of our children's families, and then later in the day gave out another 14 packs to families of food and health care items.
Sorry photos aren't great - it was early and from my mobile phone and not the normal camera....
Goa and the rest of India is facing an extended lock-down, which started as one day, then was extended to 3 in Goa, and then just as we were expecting it to end the government announced a 21-day lockdown. This has hit us and everyone really hard due to the government's inconsistency and failure to provide a system that ensures everyone is able to get essential services. This has left many old, poor and vulnerable people with little to no food to survive, and in many cases no money to buy food if and when it is available.
One of our trustees has been working with various groups across the state to ensure that people in distress are heard and that everyone gets a meal. Just today they received over 100 calls with distressed people crying out of desperation. It is a mammoth given the scale and number of people in crisis.
Goa Outreach was lucky to stock up on the essentials just before the announcement of the 21 day lockdown and bought 50Kg of flour, 60 Kg of Daal and 150Kg of rice as we realised that the families we help would be our of work for some time and would need food to survive. We have already distributed to several of our families who are already struggling but we have also been asked by orphanages for help as they had run out of food. Just today we sent a package to an orphanage in Bambolim so the children had food for tomorrow.
Its has been a hard and very busy time at Goa Outreach, even though the children are on lock down and not coming to the centre for their own safety, the centre is keeping busy, today we have upcycled around 150 bags from old uniforms that were given by one of the casino boats anchored in the Mandovi River as well as filling the items and a few parents dropped in for vital supplies.
We hope everyone will be safe and staying at home during this uncertain time. We would like to thank all those who are on the forefront, the police, doctors, vendors, garbage collectors, volunteers. Stay safe and thank you!
Our kids have discontinued coming in to our centre for safety reasons
Just as I posted this I have just 'heard' that INDIA TODAY has said that there is a full national lock down for 21 days!!!! - I have no idea how people will manage, especially the families we help. If anyone can help then we would be delighted for any dry goods (or funds towards them), Toordal, Rice, Flour, Cooking Oil and basic veg (Onion, Tomato and Potato) although not sure how anyone would get it to us and how we would get it to them!!
Please see my original post below.... (which I wrote just 10 mins ago)
So things are getting a little difficult here in Goa, we thankfully haven't had any REPORTED cases of Coronavirus yet, but we have been on a curfew since Sunday, today we have heard that the Chief Minister is extending this till the 31st which is a full week away when no shops will be open and people will remain at home. This is not a huge problem for the better off side of India, but for the families, we help who many live hands to mouth it will be a very tough time.
Many, including the families we help hardly had any time to get to the limited shops that were open and of course, as there were limited shops open that meant everyone was huddled together to get to the front to pay/order.
Hopefully, most families will have enough food for the coming week, but it will become very hard for them and as a precaution we have managed (so far) to secure a few sacks of rice, daal and flour for emergencies, although as we are on lock down we still need to be able to get the items out where they are needed!!! Today we stitched (we didn't have any plastic bags and couldn't buy them and up-cycling is always a better way to go! close to 100 bags and filled lots with daal and flour. Over the next few days we hope to create more bags and get them ready when the going gets tough for the children and their families.
We have had a busy couple of months so just getting round to posting these birthday celebration photos from a month ago (before all the doom and gloom of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
We are still going strong here in India, Goa is on 'lockdown' at the moment and today is a curfew day ('Janta curfew'). We have really appreciated the recent support, especially our new fridge and the dry goods and fruit that we were given. We have also had a great selection of toothpaste, mosquito protection (refills), soap, shampoo, and more that will come in very handy over the next few months.
Thank you to everyone for their support and we wish everyone a safe and healthy time ahead. Stay safe!