Since COVID-19 pandemic situation is worsening in Bangladesh, SKS Foundation has been complementing the Government mission taking various initiatives to stop spreading the fatal virus and save vulnerable people’s life & livelihood in different districts under its intervention. With the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic in the country in March 2020, SKS started various initiatives to stop spreading the fatal virus in Gaibandha and other districts under Rangpur &Rajshahi division, and Satkhira, Jashore and Meherpur of Khulna division. SKS has put its efforts best to keep the marginalized people’s livelihood & hygiene behavior running creating awareness, providing health facilities, promoting safe WASH services as well as providing food & cash package to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people.
Supported in Establishing an Isolation Center
As coronavirus was spreading rapidly in the district, SKS supported the establishment of a 100-bed Isolation Centre in Gaibandha. The Ansar VDP Training Centre, Gaibandha has been converted into the Isolation Center with full support from SKS Foundation. Accomplishing all necessary renovation & preparatory works, SKS handed over the Center to the District Coronavirus Prevention & Control Committee on 3 April 2020. The Isolation Center has been serving the coronavirus patients separately in the district being managed by the District Administration.
Awareness Building among the Mass People
Since COVID-19 pandemic is a new health challenge, SKS Foundation has taken different measures in making the mass people aware on combating the spread of the Coronavirus. As part of awareness building, SKS disseminated health & hygiene messages developing & distributing different types of Leaflets, displayed Festoons, Banners, Billboards, etc in Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Sirajgonj, Meherpur and Shatkhira district.
Health Safety for the Frontliners
For ensuring safety of the frontline professionals i.e. doctors, journalists, law enforcing members, NGO staffs & cleaners,workforce & support staff at SKS Offices, SKS Hospital, and different concerns under its Social Enterprises, SKS distributed PPEs, masks, hand sanitizers, soaps, hand gloves, etc among 15,000 persons.
Installation Handwashing Devices
To provide the mass people with hygiene maintenance facilities, SKS has installed different type of Hand Washing Devices at various public places in rural & urban areas.SKS Foundation in partnership with WaterAid Bangladesh has promoted 7 type of Handwashing Devices including ‘Contactless Inclusive Handwash Station’ to keep the risk of Coronavirus low among the slumdwellers in Saidpur Municipality, Nilphamariwith special focus on the people with disabilities. In total 35 Handwashing Devices have been installed at this low-income community entry points and other strategic locations covering 46,400 users.Alongside, 45 Handwashing Devices have been installed at some other public places under Gaibandha, Meherpur, Sirajganj and Saidpur district.
Distribution of Hygiene Kits
Hygiene Kits were provided to the poor & disadvantaged families for supporting in hygiene practices.A total of 18,770 families accommodating around 80,000 people were provided with Hygiene Kit packages covering poor & disadvantaged groups in Gaibandha & Sirajganj district. Each Package contained 1 Tap-attached Bucket, 1 Mug, Soap-1,250 gm, Detergent Powder-1 kg, Surgical Mask-50 pieces, Sanitary Napkin-8 pieces and a Leaflet with hygiene messages. The poor, day labor, elderly & women-headed families & other low-income families received the Package at their door-step in collaboration with the respective Union Parishad.
Distribution of Food Packages
Food packages were provided to the poor & distressed families during lockdown situation. SKS Foundation provided food package support to 4,314 poor & distressed families during lockdown situation. The food package for each family included- Rice-20kg, Lentil-3kg, Potato-10kg, Salt-1kg and Soybean Oil- 2 liters. The poor, day labors, women-headed families, hard-hit people of coronavirus particularly persons with disabilities, aged, abandoned, widow & ethnic people& other low-income families received the Packages in Gaibandha & Sirajganj district. The food package distribution took place at the respective community maintaining social distancing in presence of local administration & UP.
Distribution of Cash Money
SKS distributed cash money to enable the poor families buy food during lockdown situation. The poor, day labors, women-headed families, hard-hit people of coronavirus particularly persons with disabilities, aged, abandoned, widow & ethnic people& other low-income families received the cash support at their door-step in collaboration with the local administration & Union Parishad.SKS distributed hand cash to enable them buy food during lockdown.
Different development partners came forward and supported SKS’ mission in serving the vulnerable people. Through this untiring & challenging effort amid COVID-19 pandemic, SKS Foundation supported around 568,500 destitute people of 36,852 families with spending of Tk. 55,979,997 adding grants from development partners with SKS’ own fund.
Special Credit Support for the Marginalized
As per Directive from the Government, SKS Foundation resumed its program intervention from 1 June 2020. Taking the corona crisis into proper consideration, SKS started supporting its program participants in line with its revised plan centering COVID-19 pandemic. In relation to this, SKS guided the small & marginal farmers and entrepreneurs especially small traders take feasible income generating option for recovering their loss and regenerating their livelihoods while SKS disbursed Tk. 50 crore. The amount covered a seasonal loan of Tk. 15 crore for the next 6 months for crop production, cow rearing and beef fattening; returning the savings back to the program participants for meeting their basic needs; providing health awareness & hygiene maintenance support to the program participants and staff members so that they can run the program staying safe.