Sambhali Trust Newsletter
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Welcome to Sambhali’s September news! We hope you all are fine and safe.
Sambhali’s ongoing fight against Covid-19

The Better India

The month of September ended with a great recognition of everything Sambhali Trust has done in the last months. The Better India, a platform which concentrates on positive and inspiring stories about people that try to change India, decided to reward those helping in the fight against Covid. Thanks to all your votes and enormous support, Govind as Sambhali’s Founder and Managing Trustee has just won this award for Corona Warriors for all the work the Trust did during the lockdown in the district of Dechu Tehsil and Setrawa. We believe that this accomplishment will give us more fresh strength and positive energy for our fight against the virus and our mission in general.

Re-opening of our Women Empowerment Centers

In Rajasthan, all skill's institutions have been able to return to work after 21st September which has allowed Sambhali to re-open all 9 Women Empowerment Centers from 1st October. In the last two weeks of September, the teachers prepared all existing center locations, looked for new ones in case of better social distancing, fixed broken sewing machines and made sure that enough material would be available at the projects. Following a successful training this summer for all staff in volunteer co-ordination, Computer & English skills, Rashi Kawatra, Head of Vocational Services and Rajshree Rathore, Head of Educational Services gave seminars to the staff regarding the strict hygiene regulations before re-opening the centers. There are less students than normal attending each centre which are divided again into smaller groups to maintain social distancing. At this point, it isn’t considered safe to allow young children back to the Primary Education Centers because of the high risk of transmission. The re-opening of these projects depend on the latest situation but will most probably not happen in the next few months. 

The government has allowed educational institutions to open for the classes 9-12th standard as from 21 September. At Sheerni Boarding Home, all girls in these higher classes have returned to Jodhpur. They have yoga, exercise classes, discussion workshops and tuition in all subjects at the Boarding Home until it is safe to attend school. 

We are happy to be able to open our doors to the girls and women of Jodhpur again. It is a challenge but our staff are well prepared and the necessary regulations have been made. It is a good feeling to make the next step adjusting to the “new normal”.

Distribution of masks and food rations 

As in the last few months since our main food distribution came to an end, Sambhali is still supplying groceries kits to 25 families in the Dechu Tehsil district on a regular basis. 

Additionally, we have already distributed 5,000 masks to various authorities in Jodhpur, for example the Rural Administration and Quarantine Center, laborers on the streets and people who contact Sambhali directly. After several meetings with the State’s and City’s Administration, the District Administration in Jodhpur has requested another 10,000 masks by the Trust. The number of positive Covid cases in Jodhpur is growing every day and the city’s officials don’t know if Jodhpur has to return to a lockdown in the near future if they can’t control the virus more. Therefore, they are grateful for Sambhali’s support and asked us for masks for the general public as well as posters for shops and government flyers stating the importance of face masks and social distancing. The newly ordered masks will be made by some of our Empowerment Centers and provide these women with a vital income. 

At the instigation of the Local Administration, the Trust has launched a campaign stating “No Mask, No Service”, where people cannot enter shops without a mask. One of our Trustees, Virendra Singh Chouhan, is voluntary taking care of this Covid-19 project as its director and is working with 10 local male and female volunteers. They are in charge of distributing the masks, posters and flyers and any additional help the Local Government requires.

Last week, we were honored to be invited by the Local Administration to join a video-conference with the State Government to discuss the serious situation and ways to deal with the virus.

Our new project: Nirbhaya Pilot Project

In recent weeks, we have realized the great need to expand our SOS project, especially since the Covid-19 lockdown. The Nirbhaya Pilot Project concentrates on providing counselling and legal support to those who have suffered from abuse in the city of Jodhpur. Now, a 3-month pilot project has been created with the help of two young professionals from Jodhpur: Abhilasha Chouhan, a lawyer and Shivani Singh, a psychologist. They are offering counselling, crisis management and education and awareness and are taking care of the Nirbhaya Helpline as well. The project has been extensively discussed and researched and will be funded by Sambhali US. We are very excited to see how this new project will progress and how it can benefit the citizens of Jodhpur to reduce gender violence.

Volunteers at Sambhali
By the end of September, our volunteers’ coordinator and general administrative assistant, Roxanne Naeschen, headed back to her German home after one year to finish her university studies. Especially in the last months, she stood by everyone throughout the lockdown and took care of all volunteers. She will continue to support Sambhali in her administrative role.
At the same time, Aram Bishop from Switzerland has arrived in Jodhpur to spend the next six months as a volunteer at Sambhali. He visited the Trust in winter 2019 and planned to come this March for one year but due to Covid, he had to change his plans. Now, he could finally join us. He is working on various administrative duties in the main office.

All our well wishers and the people who support us from all over the world are always in our prayers. We hope to see you in Jodhpur again once we have made it through this challenging time. Thank you for your blessings. 

Sambhali Trust

To learn more about volunteering with Sambhali please follow the link below: Volunteer with us

Text by Roxanne N.
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