Update on Village Ways Trust work in the communities

Posted in Charitable Trust on Sunday, May 17th, 2020

Dr Tejaswi Balasundaram, the Project Head of Village Ways Charitable Trust, has sent us this update on the Trust's ongoing work in the Indian Himalayas, working alongside government agencies to fight the threat of Covid19.

Our Village Ways Charitable Trust has been working in partnership with remote and rural villages of Kumaon Himalayas in the field of health and development since 2008. The Trust partnered with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) as HER network partner in 2014, to empower women through structured health care programmes. Enabling preventative health care through Village Ways Charitable Trust-HERnetwork programme, a large group of over 300 local women at the village level spanning across the remote valleys were empowered with knowledge, methods and networks to volunteer as peer health educators for safe drinking water, sanitation, personal hygiene including hand hygiene, menstrual hygiene and nutrition. Over the years, through the strength of its work, the Trust became an established key sector player in the remote Himalayan villages across districts of Uttarakhand.
As the COVID-19 pandemic looms over the world, in our small corner VWCT was asked for assistance by the government authorities. The Trust promptly geared up for the challenge, to help protect these remote, marginalised Himalayan villages. Amidst the remoteness of the valleys, the difficult terrain, social distancing in such close-knit communities, acute shortage of government front line workers, the inherent lack of access to information about not only the precautions to be taken against the virus but also to recognise the signs and symptoms and to promptly seek immediate medical care when sick were the major challenges present in the area.
To tackle these challenges, resources from various donors were mobilised by the Trust. Its strong grassroot presence, established over the past decade, in these very remote villages, helped in garnering support from the communities. The frontline workers of the Trust were called upon for further training on the specific precautions to be taken and government protocol to be followed at the village level during the outreach activities. Engagements with community leaders and commitment from them to enforce social distancing within the communities were sought.
These efforts led to a broad awareness across the valleys of the key issues, including proper social distancing, hand hygiene, mask hygiene and constant monitoring by members of the community. Village life still continues as it has done, but now when community members go out in their fields or graze their cattle, they are aware of the proper protocols to follow to keep their community safe.
The frontline workers need to be applauded for their selfless service in safeguarding and creating an awareness within these Himalayan villages. They have been the backbone of this campaign. As integral members of their communities they have made sure their loved ones stay safe.

We would like to acknowledge all our donors, with special thanks to:
The GoodEarth Foundation
Dr. Lal Pathlabs
The Doon School Old Boys Society (The DSOBS)

Share this article

Booking enquiries: 01223 750049