Darjeeling, India & Cork, Ireland edithwilkins54@gmail.com

Covid 19 Appeal May 2021 – update:

Update 19th May 2021 from Darjeeling:

So our amazing Anuja & Anju worried about the newly announced lockdown distributed rations to Daily Labourers from Anujas house, Great Sunday Mornings work well done to them all:

Another huge Thank You to all our donors, as our team in India help provide material for another much needed Covid Centre for the poor in Darjeeling – a place where people can isolate safely, something impossible to do in a one roomed house they share.


Extending a helping hand to a noble venture

by : Amitava Banerjee
Darjeeling, May 19, 2021:  “One of the most important things you can do is to let people know that they are not alone” was the message that the children and staff of the Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation (EWSCF) wanted to get across to the Jesuits for their noble endeavour.

Strengthening the bond between the Jesuit institutions and the Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation (EWSCF,) children and staff of the Foundation extended a helping hand to the “Sursum Corda Covid-19 Care & Relief.”

The “Sursum Corda Covid-19 Care & Relief” an outreach programme run by the Jesuits and Alumni includes a Covid-19 isolation centre. The programme has been taken up on the wake of the second wave of Covid-19 that has thrown the whole country out of gear.

The 50 bedded isolation centre, set up at the Campion Hall of the St Joseph’s College, Darjeeling, is for both males and females who have mild symptoms.

Along with the isolation centre, the programme includes tele-consultation with doctors; Supply of medicines and medical equipment along with providing nutritional supplements and food.

“The Jesuits have always been a very strong support for the foundation. They have time and again helped our children with rations, books, and stationary. The students of St. Joseph’s school comes to the centre for social visits. Our children perform and stage shows during winter camps organized by the school. As we share a very strong bond with them, we too wanted to be a part of the noble venture and help in any way we could,” stated Anuja Ghalay, Director, EWSCF, India.

Incidentally the Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation (EWSCF), a not for profit organisation (Cork based), provides care and protective support to street children, victims of abuse and sex trafficking, child labourers and other at risk minors. There are more than 200 children being taken care of by the foundation.

The staff of the EWSCF decided to pool in money and buy things that could be used in the isolation centre. “The relief list included 10 thermos flasks; 5 electric kettles, 50 bed covers; 50 pillow covers; toilet paper; handwash; 50 plastic mugs and 50 towels. We procured the items and packed them,” added Ghalay.

Even the EWSCF children were not to be left behind. “When they heard of the isolation centre, they decided to prepare wall hangings with positive messages. They spent days preparing the goodwill messages that they feel will help lift spirits of the inmates at the isolation centre” stated the Director.

The EWSCF staff handed over the relief material to Rev. Father Stanley Varghese, Rector, St. Joseph’s School, North Point, Darjeeling on Wednesday, a day ahead of the inauguration of the Isolation centre.

“EWSCF Staff and Children were kind enough to support the cause. With this we will be able to provide extra bed covers and pillow covers to the patients. We thank the staff and children of the Foundation” stated Father Stanley.

Update 10th May 2021 from Darjeeling:

Battling the second wave – distribution of relief material is being organised by Amitava Banerjee:

Distributing Covid Relief Packages to a Fruit Seller

The Pandemic, surging Covid-19 cases and deaths coupled with inclement weather have not been able to deter them. The urge to serve has resulted in the Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation swinging into action distributing dry rations among the less fortunate and vulnerable in the hill town.
The Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation (EWSCF) a not for profit organisation (Cork based), provides care and protective support to street children, victims of abuse and sex trafficking, child labourers and other at risk minors. There are more than 200 children being taken care of by the foundation.

This is a challenging climb up the steps while carrying relief packages

With the surge in Covid-19 cases and the ongoing Pandemic induced partial lockdown in the second wave, the situation is bleak throughout the country and specially in this far flung hill station with a skeletal health care system.


“Along with providing care and protection for children, we decided to extend our help to the economically backward section of the community. In 2020 also with the lockdown we had distributed rations, medical kits and other essential commodities in and around Darjeeling town” stated Anuja Ghalay, Director, EWSTF, India.


The biggest challenge was funds to sustain these projects during the Pandemic when the world is reeling under financial crisis. However, owing to the generosity of the patrons and well wishers, the initial hurdle was overcome.

Here’s one happy little lady!

“Our target is to distribute aid to 750 families (around 3000 people approximately). It was decided that each family will be receiving two bags. We appeal to our donors to continue supporting us,” stated Edith Wilkins, Overseas Director.

The Team set off early on a misty morning on the long trek up and down the mountain to distribute relief to needy families.


The team in Darjeeling then started packing the procured relief material.

Covid package 1 or bag one contained Medicated body soap; Cloth washing powder and soap; Hand sanitizer; Toothpaste; Sanitary towels; Floor sanitizer and tissue papers.


The Covid package 2 or food packages contained Rice; Lentils; Oil; Chana (Bengal gram;) Mattar; Aata (whole wheat flour;) Maida (refined flour;) Biscuits; Sugar; Salt; Tea; Milk; Noodles and Soya nuggets.


It was then decided that there will be two modes of distribution. “We would call the families of our rehabilitated children at the EWSCF and distribute relief maintaining Coivid-19 protocols. We would also go out to the communities and distribute relief” added Anuja.

Distributing Relief Packs

A survey was conducted and vulnerable areas earmarked for distribution. Areas like Jawahar Bustee 1 and Jawahar Bustee 2; areas below the Darjeeling Railway station and other economically backward areas were selected.

Some of our Irish and Indian Team, the last time we were all together in 2019

Covid Update 2nd May 2021:

We are ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY with the generosity of people! Donations are flooding in to help us to support our team in Darjeeling in their difficult task of fighting the Covid pandemic that is sweeping through the whole of India. As much as we would love to save all of our beloved India we are focussing all our attention on doing all that we can in our corner of India in Darjeeling.


Our target was to raise €5,000 to help towards our residential childrens homes and also to help towards the 750 families in neighbouring slums (where the families of our day children live). There are approx 3,000 people living in these slums. Thanks to all the wonderful support here in Ireland and our friends abroad we have already exceeded our goals. A wonderful Donor has donated one FULL run, however, the situation is dire and we need you to continue to share this message with your friends and family here and abroad to gather as much support as you can and donate whatever you can afford to: www.idonate.ie/edithwilkins79.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE…
  • Donate here www.idonate.ie/edithwilkins79
  • or make a payment via your Online Banking/Revolut/Paypal to:
  • Edith Wilkins Foundation;
  • IBAN: IE48AIBK93434821439006;
  • BIC/SWIFT: AIBKIE2DXXX
  • AIB Bank, Douglas Road, Cork, Ireland;
  • Sort Code: 934348; Account No: 21439006

The situation in India is dire and likely to worsen over the coming days and weeks. Yesterday there were reports of 402,000 positive cases.

What your donation can give:

Covid Package:

Medicated body soap; cloth washing powder and soap; hand sanitiser; toothpaste; sanitary towels; floor sanitiser; tissue papers.

Food Package:

Rice; Lentils; Oil; Channa; Matar; Atta; Maida; Biscuits; Sugar; Salt; Tea; Milk; Noodles; Soya.

Each package supports a family for 15 days and we now have one months supply for the slum families and we also have supplies for our residential children’s homes.


We cannot thank you enough for what you are doing for the children of the Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation, India. From the bottom of our hearts and from all the children and the teams in Darjeeling and Ireland, THANK YOU!

For as long as people keep supporting and giving towards this fundraiser, we will keep on giving and helping the children and their families in Darjeeling.

Our wonderful team in India is led by Anuja Ghaley & Namrata Sharma and we are so incredibly PROUD of them all!

From myself (Edith) and the extended team at EWSCFI we want to THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts

Edith

India Covid 19 Appeal May 2021

Carrigaline, Co Cork based charity Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation India (EWSCFI) is working flat out trying to relieve the horrendous suffering of sick and dying Covid 19 victims – many of them children – in Darjeeling, India and seeking the support of the people of Cork and Ireland.

Funeral Pyre India
‘The system has collapsed’: India’s descent into Covid hell www.theguardian.com

Donations can be made through the registered charity’s account at AIB Douglas Road, Cork sort code 934348, account no 21439006.  You can also donate online at iDonate.ie or DONATE HERE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Relief-from-Covid-through-the-window-of-a-slum-dwelling-in-Darjeeling-India-1-300x400.jpg
Delivering supplies to the slums in Darjeeling

‘Imagine if this was the scene outside full-to-the-brim Cork hospitals:  people dying on the footpath or in a car or ambulance, desperately awaiting an oxygen supply. Well that’s what’s happening right now across India and it’s getting worse’, said chief executive Edith Wilkins.

Thankfully, staff and supporters of EWSCFI are getting food rations, sanitisers, disinfectants and other emergency supplies to families in slums in Darjeeling and its’ remote surrounding mountainous terrain.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Delivering-emergency-supplies-to-slums-during-the-Covid-crisis-in-Darjeeeling-225x400.jpg
Delivering emergency supplies to the slums in Darjeeling during the Covid Crisis in April 2021

‘The second wave of Covid-19 has left India shattered and it’s people literally gasping for breath.  All resources have exhausted. The country has taken on the picture of one large crematorium, with endless funeral pyres burning round the clock, so much so that the iron girdle framework of the pyres have melted. Even death is no escape with long queues at the gates of burial grounds and crematoria as dead bodies draped in white await last rites,’ said Edith.

Daily Covid cases have exceeded 350,000 but it’s generally agreed that the national death toll is significantly higher than the reported average of around 2,400 and amazingly, election campaigns and rallies continue in five states – including Darjeeling, West Bengal – despite the worsening pandemic.  Highest at risk are children, over ten million of whom aged between 5 and 14 are labourers.

Established in 2003, Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation India isa not for profit charity providing care and protective support to street children, victims of abuse and sex trafficking, child labourers and other at risk minors. There are more than 200 abandoned street children cared for by the foundation in Darjeeling and well over 2,000 children have been helped to date with shelter, security, medical screening, counselling, education and other services.

The foundationis constantly championing child rights issues, battling child labour and also actively establishing non-formal education centres for child labourers by working in close coordination with central government and state agencies.  There’s also a voluntary fund raising committee who meet at Unit 4, Drake Centre, Main Street, Carrigaline, Co Cork.

More information at www.edithwilkinsfoundation.org or email edithwilkins54@gmail.com or tel 085 7670499.