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Serving the Most Vulnerable with Multiple Systems
We have just added two new unique programs to our COVId-19 Relief Response initiative to boost our impact and broaden our reach.
To effectively reach more families, migrant workers, farmers and women- those who are most critically disrupted– our operations have extended to support additional efforts beyond our former scope. Barefoot College is already supporting our local team’s ration kit distributions for every family within a 100 km radius of our Tilonia campus and our IVR system COVID-19 helpline, which is beginning its international expansion.
CBO Grant Distribution
Our newly established grant distribution for regional Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) has just completed its first round of funding. We’re providing these funds to our 23 selected applicants across 13 Indian states, who submitted unique strategies to stabilize communities on-the-ground, for a grand total of over INR 1 151 000. Funding was carefully allocated and is based on immediate requirements. This total was generously accrued through the salary reductions of our Barefoot staff and a contribution from the Skoll Foundation.
CBO support was delegated based on organizations’ implementation proposals, including their strategies to assist the most vulnerable members of local communities. The total sanctioned budget will supply at least an additional 7000 families with food and more than 100000 people with vital information about the Coronavirus. The CBO support committee includes Barefoot team members and Neelesh Desai of Sampark Sansthan, MP, who acts as a presence and voice for partners during the selection process.
Many of the organizations are preexisting partners, however, some are newly established networks whose proposals aligned with Barefoot’s methodologies and were considered as especially beneficial and focused on uplifting rural communities.
We’re excited that these inaugural connections will potentially lead to future partnerships with mutually-minded social work groups. Our sister CBOs have assisted in going beyond our distribution capabilities, serving the most in need with solutions specifically catered to the landscape and regional situations.
Examples of the innovative initiatives that were established offer a broad spectrum of localized solutions. Manav Sewa Sansthan of Uttar Pradesh is distributing soaps, sanitary napkins and are providing minimal capital to small vendors to ensure their survival, while Sampark of Madhya Pradesh is providing farmers with seeds for the Khariff crop. The Sarathi Trust of Maharashtra is providing supplies such as masks and sanitizers for the LGBTQ community and to HIV positive patients.
Awareness Videos Available to All
Our second program is a series of Open-Sourced COVID Awareness videos that provide viewers with reliable, factual information as an extension of our IVR helpline. They have been shared across Whatsapp to our immediate beneficiaries and are available on our website and Youtube channel. Over 6000 people have thus far had the videos shared with them. Over half of those who originally received the videos have remarked that they found the content of the videos useful.
Here’s an example of the first of the series in English:
The videos serve to provide relatable information that anyone can understand. They are easy to share and access. Health workers, health beneficiaries, Solar Sakhi Trainees and Tilonia staff have had the videos shared with them in Hindi. We are now in the process of publishing more open-source videos translated into three additional Indian languages, Spanish and Swahili for a much wider reach through our ground partners for rural communities across the globe.
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