As the Covid19 pandemic hits India, the BSS staff got organized to keep the children engaged, by teaching in local communities.
Since the beginning of the COVID19 outbreak in India, the Buddha’s Smile School has had to adapt to face the local reality: because of the lockdown, families that were already very poor found themselves in extremely precarious situations. This loss of income was coupled with the health crisis and the closure of the school. For the children, the change was particularly brutal.
In order to keep on supporting the children – and through them, the families and local communities – the BSS team reorganized itself to keep on teaching to the pupils: every day, for 5 months now, 8 to 9 teachers have been visiting several communities to give lessons, supervise exercises and answer questions. The goal? Visit all children at least once a week.
“For us it is very important to maintain this link between the school and the children, to cultivate the learning dynamic and to continue to support them in their schooling, and in general,” explains Rajan Kaur Saini, Founder of BSS.
For many families, the health crisis is also an economic and social crisis as most of them have lost a big part of their income as day laborers or beggars. In order to support them, part of the donations collected by the association have been used for basic needs: food, warm clothing, etc. “These donations have enabled many families to get through the last months,” explains Rajan Kaur Saini. “Thanks to the winter school uniforms the children have been able to better withstand the cold winter temperatures, and by meeting part of the families’ food needs, we enable the children to devote more time to their learning.”
Today, everyone is eagerly awaiting the resumption of school activities (scheduled for the 1st of March) to get back to school, meet their classmates and keep on building their future.