An initiative that involves women from the residential community of Surat, India, cooking five extra rotis each has become a massive lifeline for migrant workers who are suffering amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. The initiative was started by NGO, Surat Manav Seva Sangh ‘Chhanyado’. Women from across the city cook extra rotis or flat bread that are collected and taken to the NGO’s community kitchen in the city. The kitchen is staffed by 16 women who exclusively make vegetable curry and chili pickle, packing the rotis collected from the households along with it. The food packets are then distributed to about 35,000 people in need in different parts of the city.
Food service professionals and other community members are stepping forward to ensure no child goes hungry. Millions of kids across the US rely on school meals for essential nutrition. Communities are getting creative; some schools are delivering meals or hosting meal drive-throughs for families. Learn more about these efforts in this article from Voices for Healthy Kids
We gathered a group of [female] mental health workers with different links to public university – professors, technicians and post-graduate Psychology students – and we created an emergency response project for women in domestic violence situations. The psychology sessions are conducted via Whatsapp and preferably in groups of 3 to 4 women with a facilitating technician. Additionally, we have social network pages that offer the contacts for guidance and legal and health services for the women, and a group of writers which can exchange experiences just by writing a collective diary.
The project is partnered with a gender justice and human rights for women NGO. This defined the community leaderships as the priority in our response, as they attend to other women who are potentially victims of domestic violence in their regions. These groups operated as emotional support to allow the leaderships to continue doing their work of actively searching for women who needed help while also feeling as if they are being supported in their own self-care. We formed a support network in regions of greater vulnerability where the increase in poverty has resulted in an increase in domestic violence.
The mutual aid groups online have expanded via referrals from the women among themselves and publicizing on social networks (Facebook and Instagram), where the posted instructions might have reached more women than just the ones that accessed the groups. The psychologist and services network involved also expanded with the suggestion of integrating a project which would help other women. The professionals understood that it is possible to increase access to an audience which would not look for them and women who wouldn’t be motivated to find psychological aid found out that they can make use of it to take care of themselves and break with cycles of violence.
In 1847 during the Irish Potato Famine, the North American Choctaw tribe raised $170 (almost $5,000 in today’s currency) to contribute to Ireland’s relief fund. Now, 173 years later, donors from Ireland are raising money for the Navajo and Hopi tribes’ COVID relief fund. The Navajo and Hopi tribes have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, likely because of a lack of running water in one-third of all homes and grocery shortages. Now, over $3.4 million has been raised so far, with most of the donations coming from Irish citizens expressing gratitude for the help their ancestors received.
Our village’s ladies social group (on Whats app) discussed soon after lockdown, what could we do for local residents. It was agreed that we could together, do some practical tasks such as shopping, dog walking or phone calls to help combat isolation. One person volunteered to advertise their home phone number, a “flyer” was produced that offered all kinds of practical and emotional help to residents and to ring the main volunteer’s number, who would then arrange others to undertake support tasks. The leaflet was distributed to every household in the village by a number of volunteers.
Leaflet given out to every household. A number of people requested help with shopping for essential items and were allocated a volunteer.
It was quick and easy to do. Sharing tasks meant no one person was trying to do everything. People felt support was there (even if they didn’t need it). It linked to Nextdoor ap which was used throughout UK.
It was a 6 year old boy’s birthday and he could obviously not invite his friends to a birthday party. They stay in a suburb where people stay behind high walls to protect them against crime and people do not really socialise. In an effort to make something of the birthday his mother phoned the people in her street to ask if they would participate in making his birthday special by putting a little present for his birthday at their gate the next morning. Everyone was lockdown so they could not buy special presents.
On his birthday the mother took the boy for a drive in the street and stopped at each gate where a little present was placed. Much to their surprise almost everyone in the street participated and the boy was delighted by all the surprise presents. The little boy was very happy with his surprise birthday and that was the beginning of people in the street talking to each other.
People need a little stimulation to reach out to others. The difficult situation lead the mother to reach out to neighbours and the neighbours were keen and willing to participate. Most people are keen to experience a sense of community.
The Covid-19 pandemics changed everything for the ‘Klangkunst’-Choir we are proud to be part of: the lock-down stopped a perfectly planned trip of the choir in April to New York City to perform ‘Carmina Burana’ at Carnegie Hall. Even worse, like for many other music groups, it went from ‘very busy’ preparing performances to ‘no rehearsals at all’ on to ‘online rehearsals restricted by internet quality’ and ‘singing on your own at home’.
Our longing to sing together created inspiring ideas: to meet as a regular choir was impossible due to Corona restrictions; but when public rallies with up to 50 people have been allowed again by local authorities, Andrea, our choir director, asked for permission for a public rally called ‘Klangkunst Choir Public Rehearsing’. Physical distancing and each singer’s individual place has been assured using colorful knots on a ‘chorus line’ (see picture).
Singing in the parking lot in the back of the town hall 6 feet from each other has been both a special and beautiful experience for all of us: late April has been cold, but lovely in Germany and it was not easy to listen to your singing buddys. But, the idea of singing in public inspired us and changed our view of the value of not only doing music together but also feeling as a community and sharing our common passion.
My sister and my brother-in-law made a series of comedy videos during the lockdown. These videos were sent to family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues to spread cheerfulness and laughter in this serious, disturbing time.
The recipients of the videos were pleased that they could at least see my sister and my brother-in-law in the video, since personal meetings were not possible. Thus one felt closer again, despite the distance. In addition, the funny content of the videos was a welcome change in the midst of the disturbing news. Many recipients felt that a newly released video was often the highlight of the day, as it made everyday life, which was marked by social withdrawal, a little happier.
With regard to social interaction: The videos were a good occasion to get in touch with each other and to exchange ideas. The effort that went into creating the videos was worth it, as it brought cheerfulness to the recipients and gave them a sense of closeness. With regard to technology: An Internet connection that is too slow has often meant that the videos could only appear after a considerable delay.
“After one crowded lunch service, Heriford said, she could no longer justify the risk to her staff or customers. The restaurant closed March 14, though she and a small number of staff haven’t stopped working. The Ladybird is offering free bagged lunches for anyone who needs them. Heriford buys the food from her usual distributor, prepares it and leaves it on carts in front of the restaurant.”