Don Bosco TEAM COVID is an initiative of the Don Bosco Youth Forum under Fishermen Community Development Programme (FCDP) Kollam, in association with BREADS Bangalore. It is a 25-member youth group working in the coastal areas of Kollam district, to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown enforced throughout Kerala, since 8 May 2021. Don Bosco TEAM COVID was officially initiated on 7 May 2021. The services of TEAM COVID include vaccine registration, PCR/antigen test booking and support, ICU/Non-ICU ambulance service, door delivery of materials, support for medicines and essential materials, free mid-day meals, and tele-counselling. One volunteer is in charge of each of the services provided.
The members of the team have been working round-the-clock since the lockdown started. Till date, the team has successfully assisted more than 300 people in Kollam in vaccination registration, and the tele-counselling team has supported 70 people affected by the pandemic. The beneficiaries of free mid-day meals are identified by the volunteers and they include COVID patients and those stranded in the area because of the lockdown. The mid-day meals are cooked at the Vishappinu Vida programme kitchen, and 40 meals are distributed by the volunteers on a daily basis. Through the Vishappinu Vida (Goodbye to Hunger) initiative, over 120 meals are distributed daily for the most deserving poor of the coastal area.
The purchase of essential items was a major task for the COVID patients as well as for those in quarantine, and the lockdown made it worse. The Don Bosco TEAM COVID reached out to these people with home delivery of essential items. Relief kits have been provided for 8 households, ambulance service for 5 COVID patients, medical support given to 65 patients and the team volunteers also assisted in the cremation of COVID patients when the need arose. Beside these initiatives, Don Bosco TEAM COVID also helps at the Community Kitchen set up by the Municipal Corporation, by packing meals for COVID patients. On a daily basis, 12 volunteers work in shifts to pack 450 meals twice a day for the COVID patients. TEAM COVID is engaged in helping the frontline COVID workers by providing masks, sanitizers and other necessities. Reels 2.0 is another initiative of TEAM COVID to ease the tension of youth and children through online competitions. Simultaneously, Don Bosco TEAM COVID is also actively working towards the creation of a blood and plasma bank in association with the local hospitals.
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