Photo: Emmanuel Education Centre, Mumbai, India.
“India has become the second most affected country in the world,” Danny Gaikwad, from Hosanna Ministries, says. “Every day there are about 70,000 cases reported throughout the country.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an enormous impact in India. Despite this, Hosanna Ministries are finding ways to help people build resilience during this time.
“Students of our Tailoring Classes…The teachers have shown them how to stitch a mask,” Danny explains. “Having the skills to stitch face masks helped them to work from home and also earn money to financially support their families in this crisis.”
“One of the girls says being able to work from home was a great help for her family. She has two kids and her husband–who is a rickshaw driver – could not work during lockdown.”
And Hosanna Ministries are also buying these masks from the tailors they trained!
“We are giving face masks to the people living in the Prakash Tekadi community where we run the Emmanuel Education Centre,” Danny says. “This community is the poorest in the district. The people work as rag pickers, collecting plastic bottles and metal items throughout the city and sell them in the evenings at the recycling plant.”
“The government has introduced many help packages during the pandemic but for many reasons the help is not actually reaching vulnerable people. Hosanna Ministries did food distribution relief work during the early months of lockdown. Now we also have the education and awareness program to educate the community members.”
“We try to explain how this disease spreads so fast. How one should protect themselves and their families, how regular washing of hands and using of face masks when they go out in a crowd helps.”
“They are happy that someone from outside is even visiting their community and talking to them and asking what problems they face,” Danny says. “Handing out face masks and explaining to them the importance of using them makes them feel more secure and accepted.”
There is still lots of work to be done in light of the pandemic. But Danny and the rest of Hosanna Ministries will not give up.
“For us, resilience would firstly mean to bring the curve of the pandemic down,” Danny says. He comments that through their plans for the immediate future they can “Keep the children, our staff and community members safe, starting with our Emmanuel Education Centre.”
We are all facing the same storm—but we are in different boats. Without the resources that we have in Australia, India faces a very different struggle against the virus. But people remain resilient—and your support can help them in that. Sharing your offering this Christmas can help Hosanna Ministries to provide food, work and education to people living in poverty in communities like Prakash Tekadi. Your support gives more people the ability to face the pandemic with resilience. “We can feel God’s hand always over our heads,” Danny says. “He has been and always will protect us inside our house as well as outside from this pandemic when we go into the community.”