Always with Interlife
- October 2020 -
These months have been very hard for everyone, but we would like to resume our regular newsletter, to send you our warmest greetings and some updates on what we are doing and how much we appreciate your help and for what the many donors like you have done.
COVID 19 Emergency in India
Over 8 million cases of COVID19 have been registered in India to date.
In southern India, and particularly in Tamil Nadu where we operate, the number of infected continues to rise dramatically. Interlife immediately took action to deal with the spread of the epidemic: our nurses have been working non-stop for months to prevent COVID19, through home visits, and village to village information campaigns; through our operators we have distributed masks, hand sanitizer, and household sanitizers to thousands of families.
Unfortunately, however, the mandatory quarantine that has been going on for months, is putting the whole population in a situation of enormous discomfort, especially the most fragile, the poor, women, and the elderly.
There is a shortage of everything, even food supplies. Unemployment has reached alarming levels, and the number of households in extreme poverty is growing rapidly.
In order to respond also to this "emergency within the emergency", we have activated humanitarian aid operations in many districts of the country with the distribution of food and basic necessities to the most needy families.
Unfortunately, requests are increasing day by day with hundreds of families lining up from the early hours of the morning.
To date we have managed to help 2050 families.
Our operators in the field have declared
"We had not seen such charitable action to us in our area. This is an unmemorable help to us. It saved the life of our children, elders and our family”. "Non abbiamo mai visto un'azione così solidale nei nostri confronti. Questo è un aiuto memorabile per noi. Ha salvato la vita dei nostri bambini, anziani e delle nostre famiglie".
And if this has been possible, it is thanks to your precious support and the contribution of all Interlife donors to whom we extend our sincerest thanks.
But the emergency is still ongoing, and we cannot stop.
We will continue with our programs of health care, information and prevention, protection, and food aid for families in extreme poverty.
Interlife Toolkit also in emergencies
Interlife Toolkits are a powerful tool to promote development, social cohesion, personal redemption, the start-up chain of work activities and micro-enterprises... something you have heard many times.
But there’s something more we want to tell you. Interlife Toolkits are proving to be very useful even in a time of emergency and great difficulty like this.In these hard months, in fact, we have been able to convert our tailoring Toolkits and turn them into units producing masks, guaranteeing the provision of protection even in the most isolated villages.
A new Toolkit was also born from this moment of crisis: a very useful Toolkit that has united 5 women from different villages in the production of sanitizers and sanitary products otherwise unobtainable on site. As soon as the emergency ends, this income-generating activity can be transformed into a household hygiene products production activity and create a new Toolkit to benefit 5 other women.
Finally, our traditional Toolkits have continued to bear fruit, guaranteeing food security to hundreds of families while the rest of the country was completely dependent on the unsecured supply of food products, made impossible due to the blockage of heavy transport in the various areas of the country, and from the cities to the countryside and vice versa. The families benefiting from our Toolkits have been able to have the bare necessities thanks to the Toolkit and to share this opportunity with other people. Thanks to the special permits for humanitarian activities enjoyed by our operators, and in compliance with security measures, the distribution activities of new Interlife Toolkits have not stopped and dozens and dozens of new families have received an incredible new opportunity with the Toolkits.
Even in emergencies, therefore, the Interlife Toolkit model is able to multiply solidarity and provide sustainable assistance to the most needy, transforming it into a circle of development and well-being for the entire community.
Amici... and beyond
Do you remember the AMICI project? This is an important project carried out in Ivory Coast between 2017 and 2018, promoted by the Ministry of the Interior in partnership with CIAI, Italian Center for Child Aid, in which Interlife participated as a technical partner for the launch of 3000 Interlife toolkits for young people at risk of migration.
We have already told you about it, we are proud of the results of the project and the great economic and social impact it has left on the territory.
In case you missed it, click here to watch the video dedicated to the AMICI project.
Today, however, we want to tell you what happens in the villages where the projects were carried out, rural villages in the north of the Ivory Coast almost on the border with Burkina Faso, where hundreds and hundreds of young people, without any prospects, received vocational training and, with the Toolkits, an incredible job opportunity, the possibility to start their own agro-pastoral activity with which to support their families.
Their lives have changed in a few months, they have become small entrepreneurs and today they are ready to share the opportunity they received with other less fortunate young people. The AMICI project ended a long time ago but the last beneficiaries of the Toolkit have not forgotten their commitment to the community and the Toolkit model, a commitment that in these days and in the coming weeks, they can proudly maintain, creating and donating new Toolkits to other young people in neighboring villages.
Madadam Boliné is among these new donors: she received her Interlife Toolkit shortly before the end of the AMICI project and did not think she would succeed. The first months were for her a continuous succession of things to learn, but she continued to work hard to grow her farm and now she has found the smile and confidence: in a short time she became a breeder, a small entrepreneur and today can contribute personally and donate a new Interlife Toolkit and then an opportunity to redeem another young.
With the Toolkit model, Mme Bolinè, like the other beneficiaries, have come a long way in recent months. A path of personal growth for hundreds of people and a process of local growth fast and effective, was started and continues in these villages thanks to the Interlife Toolkit, and, through our operators who continue to follow all the beneficiaries of the project, is extending incredibly to new villages; although AMICI has concluded, the effects of Interlife’s agropastoral activities have increased over time, and our toolkits continue to multiply autonomously giving rise to a new generation of completely endogenous beneficiaries. The power of replicability of the Toolkit has also exceeded the official end of the project, and continues to sow food security, well-being and solidarity, demonstrating once again that commitment, participation and generosity knows no limits!
Interlife goes back to action... and flies to the Ivory Coast!
After the great interest generated in Italy last December at the Museo della Permanente, the Photographic Exhibition entitled "Ivory Coast: Culture and cooperation through the eyes of NGOs" - promoted by the humanitarian organization NADUK and the Embassy of the Ivory Coast in Italy, which we would like to sincerely thank - arrives in Côte d'Ivoire.
The exhibition, curated by Simona Vidoni, was inaugurated on the 9th October last year at the prestigious Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, in Abidjan - Ivory Coast - with the patronage of the Première Dame de Côte d'Ivoire and the Ivorian Ministry of Culture and Francophonie. The forty-five photographs that make up the exhibition will be on display until November 9th, 2020 at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, promoted by fifteen Italian organizations, including Interlife Onlus.
After school centers
Since March 2020 schools of all levels are closed in Tamil Nadu due to COVID and will not reopen before 2021. In these rural areas without electricity everything is lacking and distance learning is not possible.
But COVID has not stopped our children, from having the desire to learn, the right to education and it is our duty to accompany them in their growth. Conditions have changed, we have all had to adapt and learn to live with an almost invisible enemy, but respecting the good hygienic and social distancing rules, our children continue to study and follow the after-school activities organized outdoors by Interlife.
In Tamil Nadu, thanks to Interlife's 25 after-school centers, afternoon educational activities have continued for over 1245 children. Here are our little ones who follow the outdoor lessons and are eager to learn.
Unfortunately, however, the closure of the schools has brought another very serious consequence. As part of the Emergency Childhood and Distance Support program, our nurses visited Interlife's young children one by one, and found that their health situation, and in particular their anemia levels, were significantly worse. Of the 1245 children following our afternoon activities, 625 were found to be anemic, with a haemoglobin value of less than 11 g/dL.
Due to the closure of schools for months, in fact, the children were forced to skip even the free midday school meal - usually scheduled on school days -, the single most important meal of the day for the children of the poorest families. Covid19 has thus further aggravated the already harsh situation of poverty in which the children live and their state of health.
If you would like to join us, to ensure they have safe meals and a healthier, more balanced growth, you can choose to support the Emergency Childhood program or donate dietary supplements now to support our children as they grow up while they wait for school life to return to normal.
We look forward to new updates from the field
and we hope with good news for all of us.
A big greeting from all the staff of Interlife