As the coronavirus pandemic continues to transform lives globally in unprecedented ways, Akanksha’s students, their families, and communities are disproportionately facing the pandemic’s effects, suffering shortages of food, hygiene, and basic needs. Watch this short video from Akanksha Foundation CEO, Saurabh Taneja, to hear directly about how Akanksha is responding.
Akanksha’s efforts at this time have focused around three priorities:
1) Supporting our most vulnerable families by providing food and basic necessities. Partnering with other local organizations and with parents from our School Management Committees, Akanksha has provided over 3,600 families with food and hygiene supplies. As the lockdown in India extends to possibly the end of May, or even longer, Akanksha is working to reach an additional 5,500 families over the next two months.
2) Ensuring student wellbeing. Teachers and principals are in contact with all of our 10,000 students across Akanksha’s 21 schools. Teachers check-in with students daily to offer support, share health and safety information, and offer activities for dealing with anxiety. Our Counseling team reached out immediately to our most vulnerable students, who were being attended to before the lockdown, and continue to check in on their wellbeing on a regular basis.
3) Continuing student learning during this time. Schools are using Google Classroom and WhatsApp to keep students engaged for 3-4 hours per day, sharing materials and lessons focused on academic subjects and mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation. We are offering virtual learning support to parents through free phone apps, and a special task force is focused on sharing and building virtual learning tools for students and parents. Our teams are also working to enable a smooth transition back to in-person learning when our schools are able to open again.
Read about how Akanksha’s work is part of a collective effort to respond to the public health crisis in India in this report from India Philanthropy Alliance (IPA). IPA is a coalition of 12 development and humanitarian organizations that mobilize funding, volunteer and professional talent, and alliances in the United States (and elsewhere) to benefit India.
While the full effects of the pandemic are yet to be seen, Akanksha is doing all we can to ensure that our students and their families do not get left behind. Please consider making a contribution to support Akanksha’s crucial work and ensure that we can continue to provide our 10,000 students with everything they need in the school year to come.
Resources for Distance Learning
As parents around the world adapt to the new reality of having our children home from school, we wanted to share a few resources from our schools around remote learning.
Akanksha is sharing at-home art projects to do with children on a daily basis on Art for Akanksha’s Facebook page.
Try Akanksha’s Building Bridges exercise at home with your children or loved ones. This exercise was developed in our schools to strengthen relationships between our students and their parents. The exercise, done in pairs, facilitates open and heartfelt sharing of thoughts.
Visit the Akanksha Foundation’s Facebook page to find more initiatives #PoweredByAkanksha.
See how some Akanksha students are adapting to virtual learning.