The Grand Commandery of the Castello (GCC), a jurisdiction of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem, became aware of an emerging emergency situation around Women in Need (WIN), a charity operating in India. The UK-registered charity launched a Covid-19 Emergency Food Appeal to save lives, especially women and their children, as hundreds of thousands were being infected daily with the virus further disrupting the already frail economic situation in the area.
Aware of Women In Need’s precarious situation, the GCC Council immediately transferred €7,300 to add to WIN’s fundraising efforts for India in the UK. Council officers personally pitched in to raise some €1,000 in a couple of days with another €6,300 added from the GCC’s own charity fund raised from among the NGO’s members.
Vaccinated against Covid, WIN’s support team is providing an invaluable service to Nagpur’s poorest, where every €1 donated goes a long way in sustaining the poorest through this crisis. The auto rickshaw, donated by the GCC some years ago to WIN, allows grains to be delivered to families living in hard-to-reach areas in the slums around the city, where women with HIV and TB are more susceptible to Covid, and are being supported with supplies of food and medication. These home deliveries are reducing the risk of exposure to Covid among the elderly, while snacks are also handed out to children staying in the grounds of the government hospital where their relatives are fighting Covid.
Currently operating in Central India, WIN’s mission aims to restore dignity and hope to women who have no other means of support. These include lepers as the majority of new leprosy cases worldwide are in India.
Chev Paul Warren, Commander and Hospitaller of the Grand Commandery of the Castello, said: “For more than 12 years now, our Grand Commandery has been providing funds for WIN as we admire their commitment. WIN identifies women suffering from extreme health problems and supports their treatment, provides shelter and rehab to women exposed to physical and mental abuse, offers alternative ways of restoring their financial independence, addresses ignorance and superstition through education, and prevents deaths through screening, for example for breast cancer. WIN also assists them to combat loneliness, isolation, fear and depression.”
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