Families in the time of COVID

Arushi Wasan
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April 1, 2020

From the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, there is one word which is omnipresent in our life currently - COVID 19. The world has come to a screeching halt and our lives have turned upside down. I am writing this post at a time when I have started my week 3 of working from home in Delhi, and the scene from my balcony is surprisingly good - blue skies, scattered clouds, a fresh breeze, and some chirping birds. But my mental state is far from fresh and joyful. I haven't seen my friends or colleagues in weeks, and dearly wish to step out everyday. And I believe that a lot of us can relate to this scenario.

Nonetheless, I have the privilege to stay home and access the right tools and information to keep myself safe from COVID. I also have various ways to keep myself productively occupied - work, books, online courses, to name a few. But this isn’t the reality of thousands of parents Dost has been serving through its early childhood program for 3 years. They live in densely populated areas in the fringes of Delhi, are resource constrained, and deal with the worst side of the rampant misinformation spread via WhatsApp and other media. Our team started hearing woes of distressed parents and quickly jumped into action to help. We realized that plenty of organizations are working towards COVID, and thought - why not collaborate with our peers and collectively defeat the crisis?  

Last week, we built audio podcasts specific to COVID and we reached over 8000 Dost parents during the weekend. In the call, parents had an option to reach back out to us and discuss any COVID related worries, and 250+ of parents responded! We weren’t expecting such a large response, but this goes to show that parents need support, and they need it now.

As of now, Dost has opened up its COVID program for any and every organization to sign up parents. Parents are distressed about keeping themselves and their families safe, and - as all kids are now at home - are struggling to keep their children productively occupied. Dost believes that it can contribute to solving this two-pronged problem with its product “Phonecasts” - podcasts delivered over voice calls. Our regular phone calls will give parents tactical ways to keep their children busy, and their families safe. In case you’re interested to partner with us or discuss possibilities of collaboration, please reach out to me at arushi@dosteducation.com

A crisis at such a  global scale requires urgent action, and we hope that humanity emerges from this situation with more strength and empathy. Let us act, now!

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