Supporting Save the Children in India

Supporting Save the Children in India

Setting up child-friendly spaces helped children regain a sense of normalcy.

When the rain started to fall in southern India in September 2009, no one knew it would lead to catastrophe. Flash floods washed away homes and schools. Water wiped out farmland and livestock. An estimated 3.1 million people, including thousands of children, were left struggling to meet their most basic needs.

Everyone suffered after the disaster, but as one of the most vulnerable segments of society, children were

among the hardest hit. That's why HP joined with Save the Children to support a full-scale response effort, providing immediate relief items, such as household kits, hygiene kits, and blankets, to roughly 16,000 children in 52 villages. Volunteers from HP in Bangalore, India, also traveled to the affected communities to pitch in.

In the wake of flooding in India, HP volunteers visited communities with Save the Children to deliver much-needed supplies and items such as books to help raise local children's spirits.

Delivering aid and education Our HP volunteers threw themselves into the relief effort, traveling to a number of villages in the area to contribute, and working side-by-side with Save the Children representatives and local partners. The teams' enthusiasm and willingness to help boosted everyone's spirits, particularly the children's.

In late January 2010, HP Bangalore employees Lingaraja Choudri, Kiran Pillai, Bharat Gupta and Ashish Kaila traveled to the village of Raichur to pass out hygiene kits with Save the Children representatives. They had no idea that more than 200 people would be waiting for them. The kits, which included mosquito nets, soap, toothpaste, medicine, and more, were a welcome sight for the crowd gathered at the local public elementary school.

Finding time for fun Lingaraja and Kiran also visited the villages of Kataknur and Uppal Godhiyal, where they handed out children's books, paid for with contributions from fellow HP employees. While playing with local children who were eager and grateful for a little fun amid the tragedy, the pair talked about the importance of school and encouraged the children to continue their education.

Fellow volunteers Darshan V.R. and Pankaj Kumar learned of a local Child Friendly Space (CFS) while delivering wool blankets to affected families in the village of Uppal. Established by Save the Children, CFSs give children a place to play, sing, and socialize—regaining a sense of normalcy in such difficult times. Darshan and Pankaj took the opportunity to play a game of cricket with the children at the CFS.

HP volunteers say their experience with Save the Children is one they'll never forget; it's safe to say the kids they helped won't soon forget it either.