Many of the students with whom VFC work come from families who make their living in the informal sector – from construction to domestic work. The lockdown imposed by the Government of India has triggered a humanitarian crisis for many such individuals. Businesses and industries closed along with transportation systems and other infrastructure with only 4 hours’ notice, leaving most informal workers without resources and sustainable accommodation and migrant workers with no way to return to their home states. India’s underserved communities are now blighted with problems such as a loss of income and resources, lack of access to protection against the virus and general uncertainty about what the future holds.
Volunteer For Change seeks to tackle these challenges by providing financial support to student families affected by the crisis and their communities. All funds raised will be donated to underserved communities who have lost valuable income and resources and are now in dire need of the means to rebuild their lives. We have chosen to provide financial assistance instead of donating supplies in order to allow the beneficiaries to retain ownership of all decisions made with respect to their needs and livelihoods.
Throughout this crisis, of course, Volunteer For Change remains committed to their mission of bringing holistic development to low-income students by connecting mentors with unique skills to opportunities to impart those skills through extracurricular educational initiatives. Even under the lockdown, we are in communication with the community about their needs and are constantly developing our network and resources in preparation for our return to sessions on the ground.