COVID 19 Response at Shanti Ashram
Initiatives for Vulnerable Children and Rural Communities
The International Center for Child and Public Health (ICPH) and Shanti Ashram have taken active steps to respond to, develop and implement comprehensive interventions for vulnerable children and their families in the midst of the pandemic. From April 2020, based on our ongoing work, a rapid participatory needs assessment and inputs from governmental agencies, we prioritized the wellbeing and development of people living in extreme poverty, single mothers, elders, people living with HIV, vulnerable families in home quarantine and frontline workers who provide last mile connectivity. An innovative hybrid model was developed and implemented both on the field and online and has reached over 35,000 vulnerable children and their families. This was accomplished with partners from 112 organisations across 28 countries in the government and the private sector that share Shanti Ashram’s vision and focus.
The COVID-19 response includes:
- Partnering with Government Agencies for public health initiatives, COVID-19 vaccination and food security – both through the Public Distribution System as well as curated emergency nutritious food supplies.
- Community based mapping of vulnerable children by the field staff and linkage to the Ashram’s development interventions for health, nutrition and education.
- Creating awareness and critical linkages between individual vulnerable families, Medical Doctors & Public Health services through the International Center for Child and Public Health (ICPH).
- Creating awareness on mental wellbeing through the ‘Child centered community outreach for social and mental wellbeing’.
- Enabling educational outreach through the 9 Bala Shanti Kendras for children in the early childhood age group studying in primary school as well as for adolescents in high school.
- Ensuring nutritional security for children and families through the Ashram’s Food Bank.
- Learning Hub sessions for high achievers from Government Schools.
- Direct cash transfers to children living with HIV, children without living parents and mother headed families living in poverty.
- Bridging the digital divide for vulnerable children via the digital platform @Shanti Ashram-ICPH.
- Providing a safe space for children to meet and interact in the headquarters and the field sites of Shanti Ashram & ICPH.
- Encouraging child participation including ‘Online talent sharing by children and onsite workshops for children.
- Disseminating Government advisories to vulnerable communities and stranded migrant families.
- Student Internships & Volunteering opportunities for children and young people.
- ‘Art in your Life’: creating art and organizing art appreciation sessions for children.
- Community cohesion initiatives to advance peace, solidarity and cooperative action with children.
- Knowledge Sharing, Field Research and shaping of Public Opinion.