Blog

September Update

Angels showing off the masks they made

Greetings to the James Connection community.

Life remains active for the children and staff of Angels’ Place, and we have several updates on activity at the orphanage regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the academic progress of the children, and improvements planned for the orphanage.

Angels’ Place now has 50 children in residence, and the process of return began with the older children. They have a full schedule each day consisting of classes, time for study and homework, work in the vegetable gardens, and meals. The Angels’ Place staff members continue to keep the orphanage a safe space during the pandemic. The campus is restricted to the children and staff, children and staff are wearing masks, and the children receive a visit from Dr. Mang every Saturday.

We are happy to report good news on academic progress. Seven children from Angels’ Place participated in the Board Examination that follows the end of Grade 12, and all seven of the Angels’ Place children passed the exam. Often orphans lack the opportunity to attend school because of the difficulty of their circumstances. That fact that these seven completed their schooling successfully reflects their hard work, and the achievement has only been possible thanks to your generosity.

Finally, two initiatives are underway for improving the facilities at Angels’ Place. A recent grant of $27,000 from Toyota will allow for the construction of a new water collection system and cistern. Also, the orphanage is expanding its computer resources in order to support the increased demand for distance learning. We will let you know more as things develop.

As always, we thank you for your support of the James Connection, and your generosity has made all of this work possible.

July Update

The children practicing social distancing and wearing masks at Angels' Place

To the generous supporters of our children at Angels’ Place:

In an ongoing effort to keep you informed, we have reached out to Sanga to get some answers to the many questions you have about the children at Angels' Place during the epidemic.

Sanga reports that 41 children (grades 7-10) whose progress in school is most vulnerable have returned to the orphanage. Their return raised many questions. Here they are along with Sanga’s answers.

Q: Were children’s and staff’s temperatures taken upon arrival/return to Angels’ Place?

A: Temperatures of children and staff were taken. We also check the temperature of the children and staff every day with our Non-Contact IR Thermometer. Each staff and children are also provided masks. Staff returning after performing work outside the campus is also screened and hands sanitized. 

Q: Who is in charge of the children?

A: Englian is in charge. He is there daily, going through screening at the gate. Siam is back at Angels' Place. His family is with him. [Note: Englian and Siam are two of the senior staff members of Angels’ Place.]

Q: Is there a two week strict quarantine plan in place to observe and uncover any developing illness? Are temperatures taken daily, and is hand sanitizer used?

A: A strict quarantine plan is in place. Temperatures are taken daily and hand sanitizers are used. According to available data, 80% of the positive cases in India are mild in nature. Experts attribute this to high immunity. This is positive news in India yet we remain cautious!

Q: What is being done to teach all kids and staff about social distancing, washing hands and not touching faces?

A: We have conducted a sensitization session on coronavirus with our nurse Mawipi and also an online session with Dr. Biak, my son, who is currently practicing medicine at a state-run hospital in Delhi. Info-graphics are also on display at our buildings. We are very strict about anyone entering our campus. We have also sealed our campus and a notice posted on our main gate to avoid any unnecessary visitors.

Q: Are they bunking, studying, eating 6 feet apart?

A: Children are strictly following social distancing norms. They are also performing their school assignments regularly with materials provided by their teachers online. The staff members assist them with the help of their mobile phones and our computers.

Q: The staff is teaching the kids. Are there tutors in addition to the staff?

A: There are no tutors in addition to the staff members at the Angels’ Place. However, we are thinking of starting tuition next month to recoup the time lost due to lockdown. If we do, we will strictly follow the screening of temperatures and hand sanitizing.

We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available, but feel free to reach out anytime with your question and concerns.

Thank you for your generous support in this difficult time.

The James Connection

Coronavirus Update

Distribution of Rice at Angels' Place

To our generous supporters of the children at Angels’ Place:

We write with an update concerning the management of Angels’ Place during the Coronavirus quarantine. The state of Manipur, where Angels’ Place is located, has largely been isolated from the pandemic, and the children are all doing fine. Only two cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Manipur, and one of those later tested negative. Staff members continue to live at Angels’ Place in order to maintain the facility, and everything remains in good working order. The lemongrass crop will not be harmed or neglected during this time, and we expect harvest in either late May or early June.

As we wrote in our last message, the children are currently with their legal guardians. Since the children came to Angels’ Place from desperate conditions, James Connection is working with Angels’ Place staff in order to provide food for the children during the time of home quarantine. Rice and daal have been purchased and distributed to the children through their legal guardians. The amount of food is comparable to what Angels’ Place normally buys during a month, and so the expense is consistent with normal operating expenses for the orphanage.

The children’s guardians visit Angels’ Place and pick up the rice and daal on a weekly basis if they are able. In the event that a guardian cannot pick up the food but lives nearby, then the food is delivered. Angels’ Place staff is in contact with the government about the prospect of delivering food to the children who come from villages farther away. We are grateful to be able to continuing supporting the children in this way, and this direct food aid will relieve their families of food anxiety during such a difficult time.

We still do not have any clear schedule for the return of the children to Angels’ Place. The lockdown order in India had been extended through early May, and we will communicate any plans for the children’s return as soon as we learn them. As these children are among the most destitute young people in the area, we are eager to have them return as soon as possible in order to provide the full range of support that Angels’ Place has to offer.

We are including with this message a series of photos that show the storage of rice at Angels’ Place and that show the guardians coming to pick up the food. We are grateful to know that the children are safe and are receiving adequate food during this time, but we look forward to their return as soon as it is safe and feasible. We thank you for your ongoing support. The operation of Angels’ Place and the nourishment of these children, in body and spirit, remains our ongoing mission. You generosity will help us to care for these children who live in such vulnerable circumstances.

With prayers for strength and lovingkindness in order to meet this time of need,

The James Connection

Coronavirus Update

All of us in the James Connection community have faced our own challenges due to the Coronavirus, and as you are supporters of Angels’ Place in India, your concern surely extends to the children that we have worked so hard to nurture there. The purpose here is to update you on how the James Connection…
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