July 2021 Updates: New Website and Covid-19 Vaccinations
New Calcutta Kids website
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new website, which offers a snapshot of:
- Our team and the principles that guide our work
- How our programs address pervasive problems in the community we serve
- Our impact on beneficiaries
- How far your money goes to support our work
If you’re inspired by what you see, please share the site with your networks.
We’d like to extend special thanks to Jon, Nancy, Ashley, Jaya, and Clare for making this site a reality.
Upcoming Covid-19 vaccine distribution
We’re proud to share that Calcutta Kids will soon become a Covid-19 vaccination site.
India recently began allowing private entities to purchase vaccines. This is a significant and necessary step. The government-led vaccination rollout has been slow: Vaccine demand continues to outpace supply, and the vaccination rate remains extremely low. It’s common for people to wait in line all day at government-run vaccination sites only to be turned away before getting a shot.
By operating a vaccination site independent of the government, we can help speed up the vaccination process and mitigate further devastation to our beneficiaries and the entire community. We are partnering with private health care centers that have the authorization and infrastructure to obtain and store Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. Their trained medical staff will administer the vaccines at our clinic, which will be set up for safe and efficient vaccine distribution.
Our Covid-19 response
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on Fakir Bagan, the Kolkata slum community we serve. Throughout the pandemic, Calcutta Kids beneficiaries have continued to rely on us to meet their health care, nutrition, and social support needs.
Over the last 15 months, we have:
- Adapted to deliver virtual services, whenever possible. Many community members have basic smartphones they can use for telehealth. We now provide virtual community health worker visits, doctor visits, and meetings for adolescent girls.
- Continued to provide essential in-person services, when necessary. Some services — like administering childhood immunizations and distributing medicines — can’t be delivered virtually. To protect the community and our staff, we adopted strict Covid-19 protocols for providing these services in person.
- Strengthened the skills of our community health workers. We partnered with Mudita Foundation — which strengthens systems to protect people at risk of or trapped in situations of exploitation — to train our staff in how to identify and respond to issues of safety among our beneficiaries during the pandemic and beyond. Because Mudita Foundation is based in Bangalore, we used this as an opportunity to hold our first-ever virtual training and to increase our staff’s comfort with technology — which opens the door to even more virtual capacity building in the future.
- Secured Covid-19 vaccinations for our staff. We leveraged our partnership with the local government Chief Medical Officer to ensure that our staff were prioritized to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. This enabled our staff to stay safe and to provide services to our beneficiaries as safely as possible.
- Provided food and other support to families in need. Some families in the community have experienced particular hardship because they have lost a loved one to Covid-19 or lost their source of income. We have provided rice, lentils, potatoes, and other food to these families. We have also helped these families access necessary medical services during a time when clinics have been shut down or overwhelmed by Covid-19.