Share & Care Foundation, whose mission is to create opportunities for marginalized people in India and around the world through its women empowerment, healthcare, education, village upliftment, and disaster response programs, has allocated $100,000 in emergency funds to help those affected by COVID-19.
“In India, a three-week lockdown was established to contain the spread of the virus,” says Amar Shah, Chair of the Share & Care Disaster Relief Committee, in a statement. “Unfortunately, due to this necessary measure, many people are unable to work and there is no immediate assistance for daily wage earners. Within a record week, we have worked rigorously to identify NGOs with whom we can start working right away to help thousands of families in India.”
Share & Care’s COVID-19 emergency response will be rolled out in phases, with five relief projects identified so far, according to a press release.
One of the projects, implemented in Azamgarh and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, will support families who are facing such extreme poverty that they have resorted to eating grass to survive.
A decade ago, this same community was forced to subsist by eating rats — that is, until Share & Care provided support to help them find employment. Now, as these individuals again face sudden unemployment, Share & Care is providing them with support kits including rice, lentils and beans, soap, and safety masks. Each kit costs $3.50 and includes enough rations to sustain beneficiaries for three weeks. For this project, Share & Care has committed $7,500 to help approximately 2,000 people.
Other active relief projects include the following:
- Grocery Kits of Gratitude (Gujarat): This initiative, which includes the creation and distribution of grocery kits, was identified and funded within three days to provide instant aid for Gujarati families in need. The kits include grains, lentils, oil, essential masalas, ghee, flour, rice, potato, onion, and other staples to sustain a household for two to three weeks. Each kit will cost about $15 each, and Share & Care is committing $15,000 to help 1,000 distressed families (or approximately 5,000 beneficiaries).
- Grocery Kits of Gratitude (Maharashtra): This initiative is funded for $15,000 and will benefit 1,100 families.
- Grocery Items (Queens, New York): This initiative, funded for $15,000, will benefit 130 families and is made possible through a partnership with the South Asia Council for Social Welfare.
- Groceries & Meal Kitchen (Hazaribagh, Jharkhand): This initiative, funded for $15,000, will feed 400 families for 20 days.
Together, all five projects were funded for a total of $67,500.
Additionally, Share & Care’s on-the-ground volunteers are working to educate villagers about how to combat the spread of the virus.
In 2015-16, during the toilet construction phase of its sanitation and hygiene projects, Share & Care discovered the importance of changing mindsets when working to improve community hygiene. Now, during this pandemic, it is more important than ever to provide education about good personal hygiene practices.
This year, Share & Care initiated a Village Upliftment program, which places 12 Lokmitras (“friends of the people”) in 12 Gujarat villages. Their roles are to bring awareness and offer solutions for issues affecting the entire community (e.g., sanitation, substance abuse, smart schools, and infrastructure) and to serve as a liaison between village and government with the goal of modernizing both the mindsets and the village itself. These Lokmitras are already working to educate villagers about the coronavirus and about the importance of hand washing and social distancing.
Share & Care Foundation was founded in New Jersey in 1982 to give back by creating opportunities for deserving women and children living in poverty in India. Today, Share & Care works with community NGOs to initiate interconnected education, healthcare, sanitation & hygiene, and female empowerment programs to create long-term impact and sustainable change.
Share & Care Foundation™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Share & Care is a Gold-Level Guidestar Participant for demonstrating its commitment to transparency, and has earned a four-star rating with Charity Navigator. For more information, visit www.shareandcare.org