Covid-19 has challenged us, but AIL has always been innovative and adaptive and is responding to the challenge.
We have adapted our health and education programs and taken on an expanded role of emergency food aid and personal protective equipment production.
AIL staff have started providing counseling to stressed families who are having disputes in the home because of being cooped up together all day, often with no work to go to or social interaction. There is a rise in both violence against women and children caused by the situation and people need help with how to cope. Radio Meraj is also broadcasting information on ways to deal with isolation and the stress of the health and economic crisis.
Our health clinics are open, while some organizations have closed their clinics. We have many more patients than usual and staff are sometimes working double shifts to cope with the demand for services. Covid-19 patients are referred to government hospitals while other patients are treated by AIL.
We are providing disinfection kits to families - a one month kit includes: soap, tissues, disinfecting gel, 50 pairs of gloves, alcohol, 50 face masks, disinfecting liquid.
Staff printed out leaflets about the virus and these are handed out to patients and distributed to offices, centers and government buildings. Virus information is also being broadcast by Radio Meraj every hour, so 18 times per day. The clinics regular health education sessions include the virus symptoms and how to protect yourself.
The health clinics need soap, sanitizer, gloves, face masks and other supplies to treat patients.
Emergency Food Aid
Many poor families are day laborers and need to work to buy food for that day. Work is scare and food prices have risen, making daily life even more difficult. AIL staff have prepared and distributed hot meals to thousands of people and are also distributing food packs for families.
Personal Protective Equipment Production
AIL has turned over its tailoring classrooms to the production of PPE including, face masks, face shields and gowns for clinic staff. The classrooms are well equipped to quickly move over to this production with the use of sewing machines, irons, sewing tables and some thread and cloth available.
AIL has donated one million Afs worth of health supplies to the Herat government’s virus response effort. The supplies included: masks, gloves, bottles of alcohol, azithromycin tablets, hand sanitizer gel and soap.
Distance Education Program
Teachers at our Learning Centers and the schools we support, are providing education packs for students. They remain available to help students via email, telephone or by socially distant meetings.
Although Learning Centers and training workshops are closed distance learning is being made available, wherever possible, so children will not lose out on learning and lose the motivation to continue their education.