As the second wave of the deadly Covid-19 virus continues to devastate India and its healthcare system; it also continues to stagger the progress of education and learning in a child’s life. The multiple lockdowns and ever-changing Covid-19 protocols have had a significant impact on a student’s day-to-day life, highlighting the importance of mental wellness and support. While the global education community and the world come together to fight the pandemic, we are working hard to ramp up our care and connectedness efforts.
Akanksha’s Covid-19 taskforce, Project Karuna has relaunched support efforts to ensure the well-being and safety of our vulnerable students, their families and the communities we serve. This time, we are going beyond providing material essentials to investing in vaccination awareness and counselling support.
COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS
Ensuring that our communities have access to basic emergency services as well as medical information related to Covid-19 homecare.
Prioritizing on creating informed communities to exert influence on the groups eligible for vaccination.
MENTAL HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Supporting our children, their families and our staff on dealing with Covid-19 anxiety, especially for those who have suffered pandemic-related losses.
Staying connected with our children through virtual classes to ensure that the learning never stops.
Our people are our biggest asset. At Akanksha the safety and wellbeing of all our stakeholders is of utmost importance. As an organization, Team Akanksha launched Project Karuna in 2020 to support vulnerable families who had lost their primary income-earner during the lockdown. In the first phase, we focused on providing essential food supplies and hygiene kits to ensure the safety of our children and their parents. By collaborating with partners from various sectors, we multiplied our impact to create a community of support.
Our first phase of Covid-19 efforts will be always be remembered by the multiple stories of hope, courage and compassion from the ground. From teachers, to school staff to parents, learn more about the heroes who went above and beyond their duty to support those in need. These real accounts motivate us and give us the strength to continue with our mission. Find some of those stories here:
Even through these challenging times, we have witnessed sparks of hope and encouragement. We have witnessed the Akanksha values come alive through these moments of optimism. Our stories from the ground have motivated us and given us the strength to continue with our mission. We share with you some of these stories here.
Radio City Pune- 6th July
The Good Sight- July 2020
eSakal- 9th June
Sakal- 9th June
MidDay - 28th April
Sakaal Times - 27th April
FM Radio interview - 12th April- sound clip
FM Rainbow interview - 12th April- transcript
Mint Lounge - 11th April
Our people are our biggest asset. At Akanksha the safety and wellbeing of all our stakeholders is of utmost importance. As an organization we have undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure our employees and communities feel safe and secure.
In the very first week of the lockdown, our teachers and school leaders sprang into action almost the very next day after the lockdown was declared and got in touch with every single of our 9300 students and their families through group WhatsApp messaging & phone calls.
Activity timetables, google classrooms, videos, charts, trackers & ART challenges were created for children to be engaged for 3 to 4 hours every day. Teachers received the completed activities and reviewed them regularly.
Our Counseling team reached out to our most vulnerable students who were being attended to before the lockdown and checked in on their well being.
The pandemic has created a void in the lives of human beings and the sudden break in our normal lives has brought several mental and emotional issues to the fore. The Akanksha Listening Space has been created for our teams, parents, and our alumni to reach out and call any of the members in our Counselling team to share their anxieties and fears.
The Akanksha Counselling team has set up structures to cater to the emotional and mental well-being of all our people and the information shared will be kept confidential.
During this time of social distancing we are striving to make connections and bond with our team members. Teams have reoriented themselves to suit the routine of work from home.
Managers are doing weekly check ins focused on well being of the team members. Our HR team is organizing weekly recreation sessions for staff members. These include sessions on mediation, art, fitness, etc.
We had virtual Townhalls organized by the Leadership team to address the concerns of staff members. The townhalls had open discussions and Q&A sessions.
Since the day the lockdown was announced, we have established an extensive communication channel with our alumni. We understand these are testing times for them and their families and The Alumni Support and Engagement (ASE) team is in touch with every single alumnus. Our Alumni ambassadors have been at the forefront of distributing essential items and groceries to our communities.
ASE team has also launched a series of learning opportunities for all the alumni using digital platforms. This series is called Alumni Action. It includes a range of sessions from Zentangle Art to Career Counselling.
All through the month of May, our teams in the schools will continue working with our children and their families to provide emotional support. We have a task force that will focus on virtual learning tools for our students with special attention to secondary students to ensure they do not miss this crucial time.
Our teams are also working on various scenarios to enable the smooth integration of children back into schools when they open.