The Kanji Project Coronavirus Statement
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Indian partners are dealing with unprecedented stresses. Though the virus has not spread as rapidly in India as in some other countries, the government has enacted a country-wide lockdown, which has included the closure of public spaces, including schools.
Both St Antony’s and Shanthi Lumin Girls’ Home have been forced to close. The girls at Shanthi Lumin have fortunately all been able to find family members (often extended family etc.) to go home to during this time, and the students at St Antony’s are now at home. This, however, means that the school has no income from fee-paying students, and is required to continue paying staff wages throughout the lockdown period. There is currently no government plan to provide funding support to businesses or organisations in paying their staff and bills, so St Antony’s Foundlings will have to cover these costs themselves. Having discussed this with Lourdusamy, The Kanji Project has agreed to lift restrictions of the funding that we send so that this money can be used in order to cover essential costs during the period where the usual work of the school cannot be done.
Lourdusamy is also keen to continue his support for poor people in the villages, whom SAF has been providing weekly free meals. In the current context, this support will be increased to one meal a day, utilising funding from the TKP medical fund. It is also SAF’s intention to acquire PPE materials to distribute to local healthcare workers and their own staff still engaging in activities in the community, once these become available. Whilst currently SAF do not require additional funding from TKP, we are monitoring the situation closely and will determine whether or not additional funds should be sent at a later date.
The Rose Sisters are also adapting to the current context. The Sunshine School has been closed and the students are on lockdown at home. Due to the lock down conditions much of the village work is on hold, though Sister Oswald has informed us that the Rose Sisters continue to provide support to many in-need individuals in the form of food where is required. Funds for this are very limited and extra support is required to meet the need of those in poverty, as currently government grants to poor families do not go far enough to meet basic needs. TKP is weighing up options for providing further support, but we are currently limited in terms of our funding and will struggle to expand activities to help meet this need.
Whilst TKP will assist in whichever way possible a deficit budget for 2020/21 and dwindling year-on-year income provides limited scope for contributing additional funds to our partners. However, if you feel able and want to make an additional contribution to work in Kanji, you can make a donation via the covid-19 donation page directly into our account. Any money received labelled COVID19 will be given directly as crisis support to our partners in addition to the regular grants. Normal means of donating to TKP via the the donation page or via cheque remain open If you would like to support the COVID-19 response directly, or help TKP to cover the additional costs expected from SAF and the Rose Sisters in the coming weeks and months.
Please continue to check this page, as this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing context.
We wish our friends in India well, and we hope that everyone can stay safe and healthy in these troubling times. We will endeavour to continue our support in whatever way we can, and we aim to keep you all up to date as the situation develops.
Thank you for your support, stay safe, and we look forward to bringing you updates from India and the amazing work of our partners as soon as things return to normal.
The Kanji Project Trustees