Archives: Progetti

Covid in Quito

Ecuador is one of the countries with the highest rate of coronavirus cases in Latin America, after Brazil and Peru. It has one of the highest mortality rates per capita due to the pandemic. According to the data registered by the Ministry of Health of the country on 25th October, there are almost 162.000 positive cases and about 9.000 dead people.  However, the authorities presume that the deaths caused by the virus are many more and that this increase is due to the high level of immigration in the country and the contacts with countries like Spain.

In this context, the most vulnerable people, such as the thousand homeless and the 350thousand Venezuelan refugees, are much more exposed to the occurrence of the Covid-19 syndrome. Even the simplest hygienic preventive measures like the hand-washing can be a real challenge in those conditions, not to mention the difficulties which affected people’s dignity and the access to healthcare services.

Despite the efforts of the institutions in assisting the most deprived people, thanks to the intervention of the “solidarity brigades” which get the poorest districts to test the inhabitants, Quito remains the most seriously impacted city by the virus, where the number of infections is still increasing.

The San Camilo Hospice, which has been assisting the terminally ill in Quito for a few years, has 25 beds and ensures home visits for about 100 people and their families.

Since the public hospitals are full of infected patients, the facility has to face a large influx of patients in global palliative care. While supporting the national healthcare system, it keeps on taking care of people at home, bringing them medicines, food and personal protection equipment to stop the virus.

In order to support the precious work of the Hospice in Quito, PRO.SA Foundation is providing the patients and the medical staff with personal protection equipment, medicines and food to prepare specific diets.

Vegiwada

Since more than 6 months, Vegiwada Parish, in the South West of India, is also considered red zone.

Here, because of the lockdown and the heavy rains, the poorest and most marginalized Dalit people cannot make it through the day. Generally, they work in the fields or serve rich families of the area, who are now afraid of contagion, therefore they do not earn their daily salary and they struggle every day to get food and other basic needs trying to stay safe and minimizing the risk of contracting the virus.

In order to face this major emergency, preserving the psycho-physical wellbeing of the population, PRO.SA Foundation is supporting the distribution of care packages for 500 Dalit families from Vegiwada Parish.

Each care package contains: a 5-kilo bag of rice, one liter of oil, 1 kilo legumes, different kinds of vegetable, a bag of wheat flour and a bag of meal. The latter are necessary to cook poor dishes typical of Southern India like the upma, a basic dish which contains the daily requirement of carbohydrates and proteins.

 

Kathmandu

Covid-19 did not spare Nepal, where the Government imposed a second lockdown at the end of August, due to the continuous increase of contagion, currently more than 35.000 people infected.

From an economical point of view, the quarantine and the safety measures suggested by the WHO are badly affecting the poorest families and the most vulnerable subjects of the society, such as women and elderly people.

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and menstruant women do not have their personal privacy, they cannot access maternal assistance, hygiene or personal care which are fundamental during the menstruation. This happens because they cannot afford sanitary pads which in the middle of the health emergency are still not considered a staple. This is even more true for those women who work in the health-care sector. Since they always have to wear the personal protective equipment, they cannot frequently and rapidly change their sanitary pad, therefore they wear it more hours than recommended or take pills to stop their cycle.

The pandemic has also minimized the access to the markets and blocked home services for pregnant women, nursing mothers and newborn who need vitamins and specific micronutrients, threatening their health and exposing them to the risk of malnutrition.

In order to promote and protect women’s dignity and health, through the Radha Paudel Foundation, PRO.SA is intervening in two different ways. First, it is supporting the distribution of care packages for pregnant women and new mothers and of medical kits containing sanitary pads and menstrual cups for isolated women and for those who are at the forefront in the fight against the virus, but it is also trying to raise awareness among the community. PRO.SA Foundation, in fact, is broadcasting radio spots and distributing informative brochures about menstrual cycle and reproductive hygiene, but also about covid-19 and the safety rules to prevent it from spreading.

Another category at risk are the elders, who are facing a massive psychophysical decline due to the social distancing. Bihani Social Venture, founded to help adults and elderly reinventing themselves and reintegrating into the society starting from their precious experience, is pursuing a new project called “Wrinckles and smiles”.

A unique project addressed to 367 old people who live in a care home, alone or in jail, whose goal is to be sure that none of them is left behind, abused or suffers from solitude and hunger because of social distancing and isolation, although necessary to stop the virus.

The project is based on three main objectives: the digital inclusion which consists in giving the elderly the competences and the tools needed to interact with the society (relatives and contemporaries), sharing their own experiences through social networks and online platforms. Regular contact and communication with the elders so that they do not feel abandoned, which includes a psychosocial support offered by a team of experts, also addressed to the medical staff. Mutual help among the organizations which collaborate with Bihani in order to reach all the elders and provide them with food, medicines, treatments and whatever they need to live decently.

PRO.SA Foundation, always next to the most vulnerable ones, is supporting the purchase of care packages and sanitary kits for prisoners and old people living alone; the purchase of food, medicines, soaps and sanitizers for the patients of the care home and it is also paying the salaries of the medical staff that takes care of them.  

MANGUNDE and MARRERE

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Covid pandemic broke out in Mozambique at the beginning of March, when the government declared a state of emergency closing borders, schools and forbidding every kind of meeting or event.

At the end of May, the number of cases hugely increased: 5.000 people tested positive and 35 died.  However, the data are not 100% reliable because people can get swabbed only in Maputo and in a small area in Capo Delgado province, where there had been an outbreak of coronavirus. Moreover, just a small part of the symptomatic patients gets swabbed while many others do not because they live far from the hospitals or they actually do not believe that the virus is circulating in the country.

The government, through the Ministry of Health, has reinforced the safety measures imposing the compulsory use of masks in public places and forbidding and informal market. The last provision is destroying entire families whose income is often based on the small sales of local products.

Another big problem is the lack, even in the hospitals, of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and products for sanitization and personal hygiene.

In order to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible, PRO.SA Foundation is supporting the purchase of products for the sanitization of the places and for the personal care, together with the purchase of masks, latex gloves and face shields (PPE). This stuff will be distributed to the HIV-positive mothers from the Health Centre in Mangunde, to the cardiac patients admitted to Maputo Hospital and to the medical personnel of both the healthcare facilities.

At the time of delivery, patients will be informed and trained on the proper use of PPE and the steps to be taken to prevent contagion, protecting themselves and the others.

Guadalajara

Messico COVID

Covid emergency also affected Mexico, bringing down many families from Guadalajara, especially those of chronic renal failure patients who attend the “Salud Renal Integral Camilo de Lelis” Association (SaRI). This association was set up within the Centro San Camilo in Guadalajara in order to assist decently ill people who require regular haemodyalisis and do not have a medical insurance, offering them psychological and spiritual support.

Here, like in many other areas of the world, hunger kills more than Covid-19. Restrictive measures and the lockdown do not allow daily workers to go to work and consequently they are not able to purchase essential goods for their familes nor to pay for the treatment for their relatives at risk.

In order to respond to the economic emergency due to the pandemic, PRO.SA Foundation is supporting the fortnightly distribution of food parcels for the 100 families of the patients who attend the association and the payment of some haemodyalisis sessions. Moreover, in collaboration with SaRI, it keeps on offering psychological and spiritual help together with useful nutritional advice to better face the disease protecting themeselves from the virus.

Luang Prabang

The Khmu are an ethnic minority of 600 thousand people, 500 thousand of which live in Laos and belong to the Mon/Khmer ethnic group. They are considered the first inhabitants of Laos, who migrated from China in the 14th century. Currently they live in Luang Prabang area, in the North of the country.

Their main livelihood activities are agriculture, hunting and, when possible, fishing. They live as a stigmatized minority and they are unjustly tagged as “slaves” of the ruling class of the Laotians.

The school system in Laos still shows strong gender disparities, between urban and rural areas and between the rich and the poor.

Although the school is free and compulsory for the first five years, many children and adolescents – especially if they belong to marginalized ethic groups such as the Khmu – cannot access education because of limited financial resources and the lack of competent teachers.

Until last year, Khmu children used to attend a small school made of bamboo, which had been built by the only catholic priest who lived in that area. I loro insegnanti spesso non riuscivano ad arrivare alla scuola perché costretti a fare lunghi viaggi ogni giorno.

PRO.SA Foundation, aware of the situation, supported the renovation of the school in order to give the children a healthy environment where they can happily work and also the realization of housing for teachers who will be free from difficult commuting, as well as a sport field for Sepak Takraw game. The presence of the teachers more hours per day will allow them to organize extracurricular activities. Through the improvement of the students’ life, we would like to start, step by step, an integration process of the Khmu minority.

Welcome to Reintegrate

Haiti is not only the poorest country of the American Continent but together with many African Countries it is in the last positions of the Human Development Index. Over half of the population lives below the poverty line. The condition of children is particularly worrying, especially for disabled children and adolescents. It is not easy to be a child in Haiti: in the last ten years, natural catastrophes, epidemics and poverty deprived countless children of family care. Protecting and giving a future to orphans and abandoned children from accommodation centres is a challenge which Fondazione PRO.SA has never evaded.

“Welcome to reintegrate” is a project funded by AICS, Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development, which aims at promoting and protecting the rights of vulnerable children, with disabilities and in conflict with the law as laid down in the UN Convention on Rights of the Child. In order to achieve the goal, the project includes the training of the operators of the welcoming centres – so that the quality of educational and counselling services in favor of the minors can be reinforced – and the training of the officials of Child Protection Brigades (CPB), which are responsible for the reception of the minors who committed infractions or are victims of abuses.

It is also fundamental to reinforce the competences of the local partners as well as their influence on the public institutions in order to promote changing in politics concerning the rights of children, especially for those who live in welcoming centres.

The project is carried in collaboration with Comunità Impegno Servizio Volontariato (CISV), Fondazione Albero della Vita (FADV), Progetto Mondo-Mlal (PMM) and two local partners: Solidarite Fanm Ayisièn (SOFA) and Groupe Médialternatif (GM). The activities are run in collaboration with the Haitian institution IBESR (Institution of social welfare and research), which follow us the hosting centres, and UNICEF, which coordinates the exchange of information and experiences among the different stakeholders. An important contribution in terms of competences comes from the University of Padua and the association l’Abilità Onlus.

 

“Welcome to reintegrate” involved six accommodation centres, five of which are located in the metropolitan area of the capital Port-Au-Prince, and one in Mare Rouge, in the north-west of the country. The beneficiaries of the project are 700 children, while 120 is the number of operators sensitized and trained.

Hogar San Camillo

After the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic in Europe, the Peruvian government established the social isolation on 13th March to prevent what was happening in the Old Continent, admitting the inability of the health care system to face such an enemy. The country was already dealing with a Dengue fever epidemic, a disease that has affected many rural inhabitants. However, the implemented prevention system did not have the expected results and today Peru ranks second in Latin America for number of infections after Brazil.

Like in other areas of the world, social isolation has been a threat to the living conditions of a significant part of the population, especially in rural areas and on the outskirts of big cities. The Hogar San Camillo operates in Lima supporting HIV+ people. Here the poor is ‘packed’ into slums made of shacks, where social distancing is hard to maintain. Being far away from the city, food is not easy to get because there is no chance to move nor to do occasional jobs, which would be the only family source of income.

The Hogar San Camillo reaches hundreds of disadvantaged people thanks to its activities. It has been supporting them since the beginning through the delivery of food, drugs and by providing door-to-door socio-sanitary services.

Ogni pacco distribuito alle famiglie contiene: 2 kg di riso, 1 kg di pasta, 500 gr avena, 4 latte di pollo, due buste di purè di patate e 1 kg di fagioli.

Each package that is distributed among families contains 2 kg of rice, 1 kg of pasta, 500 gr of oat, 4 chicken cans, 2 bags of mashed potatoes and 1 kg of beans.

In order to prevent HIV+ mothers from displacing around with their children – who are the beneficiaries of the prevention and nutritional programs that PRO.SA Foundation has been supporting for years – project leaders have activated a door-to-door service for them as well. Scheduled days and hours have been set for antiretroviral therapy patients to go and pick up drugs, since they cannot stop their treatment.

At the Hogar San Camillo several handcraft, silk-screen printing and sewing workshops have been active for a few years in order to enable the project beneficiaries to learn working skills and at the same time to give their own contribution to the project sustainability. To face the current situation, these activities had to be reconverted, in particular, the tailoring workshop started the production of TNT washable masks, towels and aprons. This stuff is destined to sale and to the beneficiaries of the various programs. In this way, some mothers can restart their working activities with due caution.

Stop the violence

Because of Covid-19 emergency, One-Stop Centre and Stop The Violence activities were interrupted and a help line was activated to listen and support victims of violence and to coordinate interventions with the hospital and the police. Finally, on 4th May, after about a month of lockdown, Anti-Violence Unit was reopened in Kanyama Hospital. PRO.SA Foundation has supported the purchase of devices such as white coats, masks, disposable gloves, liquid soap, and chlorine for all the project’s operators. The hospital, although having limited tools, has implemented basic rules of conduct to prevent infection. At the entrance there is a huge water bucket where an attendant makes sure that everybody would wash their hands and takes their temperature. The hospital, made of containers and tents, is half empty compared to usual: many departments were closed, the personnel is reduced by half, and industrious volunteers and cleaners walk around the hospital, equipped with a hose, to clean and to fill buckets with water for hand-washing.  The maternity ward, where more than 50 babies are born every day, is currently hosting only the new mothers and their new-borns, who are still lying together in the same bed, but there are no relatives outside waiting for them. Mothers who bring to the hospital children from 0 to 5 years old for vaccines and check-ups, normally a hundred per day, must go to nearby schools that being closed are offering a space. Within the TBC department, in the same container where Stop the Violence operators work, patients have been divided according to the day. Compared to the hundreds of patients who used to crowd there, now there are ten patients per time waiting outside and at a safe distance and they are admitted one by one. In the meanwhile, Stop the Violence operators have just reopened their small office in a container module.

Since minibus can be very dangerous because of the crowd, the lack of windows and the impossibility of protecting yourself and keeping a distance, through the fundraiser on Facebook, PRO.SA supported the purchase of a Mobile Unit for the daily transport of the operators on dutry and the victims, allowing the smooth running of the activities.  

Village of joy

The Village of Joy is a centre that welcomes orphan children and accompanies them as they grow in Atakpame, Togo. It is currently made of three houses and is hosting around 40 children. The centre is officially recognised by the State and it cooperates with the national social services. 13 ‘mothers’ are guaranteeing assistance on day-night shifts and are looking after the children together with educational, health and administration staff. The children’s nutritional needs depend on their age. Providing them with food and micronutrients through balanced meals is the main goal for the fight against malnutrition.

Togo’s government declared the first Covid-19 infection case on 6th March. Since then, despite the lack of an effective health care system, the country has given some health instructions for prevention, without any fund for device purchases.

The Village took action to protect children, educators and personnel from any potential infection. PRO.SA Foundation has guaranteed the centre funds to buy hand sanitizers, bleach, chlorine and materials to produce masks. The children themselves have been involved in a workshop where they create face masks out of paper and fabrics. Through this playful activity they can learn how to change their behaviour in a context of emergency. For example, washing their hands is perceived by them as a recreational moment and yet it is fundamental in the fight against the virus. A bell rings 7 times a day to remind everyone to line up and wash their hands with gel or soap.

The staff working at the centre live in marginal villages and they are at risk infection. So, it has been decided to give them masks and sanitizers in order to protect their families too.

Rusizi

Since 14th March 2020, the Rwandese Government imposed lockdown, closing churches, schools and centres for disabled people in order to grant citizens’ security and restrict the spread of the virus. The lockdown and the numerous restrictions brought down the whole population, especially the rural one and the families of the Urugwiro centre that earn a living day by day. To support families in this emergency, the centre director – agreeing with the municipality and thanks to PRO.SA’s contribution – organised the distribution of care packages containing: 12 kilos of corn flour, 6 kilos of beans, 2 litres of oil, 3 kilos sugar, 3 kilos sorghum flour, 6 kilos of soya flour, 2 kilos of salt and 2 packages with soap. A care packaging for a family is enough for two months.

Since 18th April 2020, the use of masks is compulspory to circulate, but their high cost makes them unaffordable for poor families. In the meanwhile, Urugwiro centre was partially reopened so that children could restart their physiotherapy sessions, but they absolutely need a mask to enter the centre. Thanks to PRO.SA Foundation it was possible to purchase the necessary materials to produce masks for the operators and for each beneficiary. In this way, activities can be carried out safely, protecting themselves and the others. Masks are produced by deaf people who work in the tailoring workshop of the centre. Besides, surgical masks, latex gloves and three infrared thermometers were purchased to take the temperature of all those who come to the centre.

At the end of July, when the number of infection was very law and the centre was ready to resume all its activities, the government imposed the implementation of paved and fenced washbasins, with sensor authomatic water taps, near to the main entrances, so that the beneficiaries can sanitize their hands before accessing the centre. PRO.SA, very well aware of the importance of the centre and its services for the local population, supported the construction of the washbasins right away. After supervising the work, the government authorised the reopening.

Faisalabad

As the rest of the world, Pakistan is facing Coronavirus emergency. The situation is even worse due to the high rate of illiteracy among the families of the community: the absolute disinformation makes them unaware about the danger of the virus and its high level of infectiousness. For this reason, Faisalabad Parish organised supporting teams which go to the villages and reach the families of the community to inform them about the sanitary emergency and provide them with simple rules of conduct to be followed in everyday life to prevent infection. In fact, in Pakistan, all the family members usually sleep together in the same room and share everything, therefore they are told the importance of sleeping separately, avoiding to share objects, clothes or whatever.

Pandemic is affecting everybody, the rich and the poor of the whole country, but the most in need are those who live with daily salaries (workers, farmers, etc.). The main goal of the project supported by PRO.SA Foundation, is to assist those households who could not otherwise support their children during the lockdown. In Faisalabad Parish new cases have been identified and the general practitioner suggested giving vitamin C to all the people infected by Covid-19, the majority of which are women or children.

In order to help the families of the Parish to face this emergency keeping them safe, we organised teams of volunteers who deliver door-to-door a care package and a sanitation kit for each household, which should be enough for a month, hoping that the virus spread will rapidly slow down.

Each care package contains: 2 kilos of legumes/lentils (4 types of legumes, half a kilo each), 3 kilos of rice, 5 litres of kitchen oil, 2 kilos of sugar, half a kilo of tea, half a kilo of salt and chili powder.

The sanitation kit for each family contains 50 masks (sewed by the women of the parish), 2 hand sanitizers, 5 soaps and 2 box of toilet paper.

Another big problem connected to coronavirus is school closures. Together with the lack of adequate technologies and the extreme poverty of the households, it obstacles the learning path of the most vulnerable children with irreversible consequences.

In order to grant the right to study, PRO.SA Foundation is supporting 10 educational summer camps for 300 children from the outskirts of Faisalabad. Each camp has its own space and is managed by a competent teacher, properly salaried, who alternatively runs educative and recreative activities, always respecting anti covid rules. During the day, children and teachers are always wearing a mask, they often sanitize their hands and keep at safe distance.

Nakuru

Last April Coronavirus pandemic came to Kenya. The number of confirmed cases is still low but Nairobi has been immediately closed and the government imposed numerous restrictions. This condition completely blocked tourism, the leading sector of the country.

In Nakuru the situation seems stationary, the boys and the girls of the Welcome to the Family are locked in their own compounds and have no contact with the outside. During the day, working in small groups, they cultivate corn, beans and sukumawiki for their sustenance. Moreover, 10 boys and girls from the WTF continue their beekeeping activities, while the activities at the Drop-in Centre are very limited.

In this period, educators are next to the children h24. The staff’s salaries are normally paid with the revenue from water sale (project “Right to water-Right to life”) but due to the health emergency, the water production activity was suspended in order to grant children’s security, therefore it has become very difficult to pay their salaries. Thanks to PRO.SA’s support it is possible to pay salaries, from April to August, of the 13 educators who live and work at the Welcome to The Family and to contribute to the purchase of rice and beans for the children’s canteen.  

Aksyon Gasmy

Haiti is not only the poorest country of the American continent but together with many African countries it is in the last positions of the Human Development Index. Over half of the population lives below the national poverty line. Unfortunately, Covid-19 pandemic is making the situation even more dramatic. Economic activities have reduced in all the working groups of the Haitian diaspora. This provoked an evident decreasing of money transfers to the country, due to the unemployment rate of Haitians who work abroad, especially in the United States. At this stage, food insecurity is seriously threatening the country.

In Mare Rouge, in the north-west of the country, PRO.SA have collaborated for two with Aksyon Gasmy (AKG), an organisation coordinated by the Italian volunteer Maddalena Boschetti, dealing with assistance and rehabilitation for disabled minors. The terrible economic and security conditions linked to violence and political instability have been worsened by limitations related to Covid-19, which are compromising all the organisation’s activities.

PRO.SA Foundation responded to the help request received from Aksyon Gasmy which developed three projects to safeguard the work carried out over years, achieving an outstanding example of good practises.

Four local radios will transmit “AKG Radio programmes” to replace the meetings with parents and to advertise Covid prevention spots. The chosen radio stations, located in Mawouj, Kotfe, Mol and Janrabel, cover the entire Northwest and even more. A second activity will be devoted to the dissemination, in remote areas, of raising awareness and prevention messages about Covid-19, through spots transmitted by loudspeakers installed on motorbikes. A very common method in the rural areas of Haiti during elections campaigns. The third activity will concern agriculture. The main goal is to face the consequences of drought and the poor economic conditions of the households, creating a fund for the purchase of seed to be distributed by the directors of the Seed Bank to the families of disabled children at price below market value. In this tragic period, families who cultivate can secure alimentary subsistence, facing the unjustified increase of the cost of the seeds.

Khulna

Bangladesh Covid 2

Following Covid emergency in Bangladesh, PRO.SA Foundation responded to the request made by FADV and the local partner Dalit for an urgent intervention to help the most vulnerable families from 30 villages of Khulna District. In this remote area, on the border between Bangladesh and India, the vulnerability of men, women and children is extremely high.

After the outbreak of the pandemic, the Government implemented a series of measures to contain it, involving international organisations like UNICEF, OMS Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, in order to create an Interministerial Commitee to fight Coronavirus. The spread of the virus in Bangladesh could be catastrophic due to the high population density and the great lack of adequate hospital facilities, especially in rural villages. In March, the Government closed schools and universities and put in place other measures but the population from the rural areas must be reached through raising awareness messages and the promotion of suitable behaviours to prevent the diffusion.

In the last years, hindu minorities have been impoverishing even more, especially the dalit. The community of dalit outcasts represents one of the most marginalised groups in social terms. They live in extreme poverty, in the most un healthy areas, subject to floods, where water sources are contaminated by arsenic from the water table.

DALIT organisation, with the help of PRO.SA and FADV, is working in 30 villages of DumuriaKeshabpur and Tala sub-districts where live 3.600 families from the Dalit caste. About 14.400 people, 5.000 of which are children.

Care packages containing rice, lentils, potatoes, oil, salt, saline solution and hygiene and prevention devices such as masks, disposable gloves, soap and hand sanitizer are delivered to the households. Another short-term intervention will be started in 8 Unions of 3 Upazilas (sub-districts) to distribute 9.000 masks, 7.200 pieces of soap for hand-washing, supplementary medicines and food through door-to-door visits. Moreover, the prevention program includes spreading information through posters, fliers and a dialoguer.