In India, the SNCF Foundation helps us support the population facing the impacts of the COVID-19
Since 2017, Aide et Action and the SNCF Foundation have worked together in favor of migrant children in India by guaranteeing them access to education and to their rights. But with the arrival of COVID-19, our project has had to adapt and offer new responses facing the emergence of new needs.
The project that we have been developing since 2017 with the support of the SNCF Foundation, aims to guarantee access to education and rights for migrant children in India. So, we are building Child Care and Learning Centers on the sites where their parents work, in the suburbs of Hyderabad in the state of Telangana.
The first phase of the project allowed to establish five centers and accommodate 1,047 children there, as well as enroll 439 children in surrounding schools. It has also helped to create a more conducive environment to the healthy development of children living on construction sites and has considerably changed the attitude of parents by waking their awareness about the importance of education for their children.
Support and reassure
But while the second phase was about to focus on improving access to rights and state support for migrants, it was interrupted last March with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the lockdown and the closure of construction sites, migrant workers were deprived of incomes and many wished to return to their villages of origin; despite the mortal danger such a journey could represent.
The project therefore had to readjust. Aide et Action and the SNCF Foundation have decided to support the population differently, by offering emergency support to families. Thanks to the facilitators present on the sites, the migrants were made aware of the risk of travel. From then on, we ensured the supply of those who remained by providing them with basic necessities (food, health, hygiene).
We have also made the link with the local authorities so that migrants have access to state services and that the educational continuity of their children is ensured as far as possible. Finally, thanks to our good relations with employers, we were also able to ensure that workers would find their jobs as soon as the sites reopen.
Adapting our activities has enabled the most vulnerable to cope with the crisis and to feel supported, despite a very difficult context. The resumption of normal activities will take place as soon as possible.