As you may have seen in the news recently, the Indian government has announced a lockdown of the whole country in order to try and stop the virus, and Magic Bus is complying by bringing a halt to all our adolescent & livelihood programmes and helping staff to work from home. The safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and especially those participating in our programmes are our first concern, and so we are also stopping programmes in Nepal, Myanmar and Nepal for the time being to help contain the spread of the virus.
But the lockdown isn’t stopping us from making a difference. Right now, we are reaching out to families and communities across South Asia via phone and email to keep them informed about the coronavirus, the importance of hand washing & social distancing, and responding to their questions. We’re training our volunteers and mentors to help share the message further amongst their communities and to stop the spread of false information. We’re helping the Indian Government identify those communities most in need and helping to deliver food and supplies to those most vulnerable. We’re exploring new ways of delivering our Adolescent and Livelihood programmes to ensure that the children and young people we work with aren’t missing out on their education while safe at home.
In time, the Coronavirus pandemic will be brought to heel, and we’ll be reunited with friends and family as we all work to return to normality. But child poverty, child marriage and youth unemployment won’t be going anywhere. In fact, they’re only going to get worse over the coming weeks and months as schools are shut and families lose their sources of income. That’s why we’re asking for your help today, so we can help families and communities stay safe from the Coronavirus and continue to help boys and girls trapped in poverty find a brighter future when this crisis ends.