Monday, November 23, 2020

How Has Covid-19 Affected Children in India? l Kerusomen Gospel Ministries

How has Covid-19 affected children in India? Christeena is a widow who supports her two young granddaughters. The pandemic shutdown the factory she worked at in Tamil Nadu. Without that income she cannot afford to pay the girls’ school fees.

To Christeena, that’s unthinkable. Her heart breaks at the thought of them reliving the life she has lived. The same way she repeated the life her mother lived. Christeena's story goes like this: married as a child to a drunkard who died of liver failure leaving her widowed and alone.

Sadly this pattern is pretty common for girls in India. India is home to 313 million illiterate people; 59% are women. (Observer Research Foundation.)   But the Covid-19 pandemic has made an already bad situation far worse. Christeena said:

"My son is a drunkard and has spoiled (ruined) the family. I am the bread-winner for my daughter-in-law and my two granddaughters who are 10 and 12. When the cashew nut factory I worked at in Tamil Nadu closed, I was speechless. My peace? Gone." Isolated and helpless in the Covid-19 lockdown, Christeena spiraled into a deep depression that led to thoughts of suicide."

That's how KGM's Pastor Joman found her when he knocked on her door with emergency food supplies. The supplies have been a lifesaver for Christeena, her daughter (who she also supports) and of course her grandchildren. But Christeena is still out of a job. The factory hasn't reopened.

Over the course of the last few months the Kerusomen Board has heard many stories from the mission field similar to Christeena's. We knew we had to do something. But what?

Our prayers were answered when Pastor Saha sent us a video from the mission field. In it Sabin Raj, a KGM family member, shows how he raises chickens in his backyard. This has made a world of difference for him and his family: food security, extra income, and most of all a hopeful future. Like many small business owners, Sabin started small and grew his business. Today his 5 hens produce 300 eggs a month and chicks to sell at market that provide a reliable food source for his family and a steady stream of monthly income. He also raises ducks and goats.

And it all started with a handful of chickens.

Many of our Kerusomen pastors, widows, and daily wage laborer families are suffering from crushing job loss and rising food prices caused by the pandemic. In good times these families survive on as little as $1.90 a day. Now with factories shuttered, construction halted, and the tourist industry decimated, the future of these families looks bleaker than ever before. The fear of disease is keeping employers unwilling to re-open; the well-to-do won't allow domestic help to enter their homes, Unlike America, Indian citizens have no government safety net to fall back on. Help from the outside is their only hope...

And that's why Sabin Raj's story is so important. Raising backyard animals is something even a disabled widow can do. And with a small start (one goat or five chickens) families can build a thriving supplemental income that will continue when their jobs return or a full-time one, if they desire. So when we saw Sabin's video, we got excited. It was an answer to prayer

As always, God's plan is so much bigger than we imagine.

We think BAG of food. He says BUILD a business.

God doesn't want to provide food for a day, a week or even a month. He offers us the blessing of joining Him in a transformational mission: providing food and income for entire communities, creating businesses that will last generations.

As the holidays approach, you can give a gift that lasts a lifetime. Prayerfully consider partnering with us to provide 65 goats and 500 chickens to abandoned widows and struggling families in India. A gift of just $25 can create lasting change and a make a huge difference.

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