Category Archives: COVID19

An Update from Angels’ Place

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As many of you know, the Covid pandemic has taken a heavy toll on India recently, and we know that, like us, you are concerned about the children and staff of Angels’ Place. We have been in regular communication with the staff during this challenging time and are writing to share the latest news with you.

First, while the pandemic has impacted India severely, the region where Angels’ Place is located has been spared the worst ravages of this terrible disease. Angels’ Place is in a relatively remote part of India, the eastern state of Manipur, and it is a small comfort that of the many states in India, Manipur has felt the effects of the pandemic far less than others.

At present, India is offering Covid vaccinations to individuals over the age of 45, and all Angels’ Place staff over 45 have been vaccinated. The next round of vaccinations will focus on individuals over 18, and Angels’ Place maintains contact with health professionals who will alert them when those vaccines become available.

Because of the rapid spread of Covid, Angels’ Place has returned to the most restrictive lockdown with no visitors allowed on campus. Any staff member who travels off campus must sanitize and have his or her temperature taken upon return. All of the children are confined to the campus and off-campus activities have been suspended for their protection, and all schools in India have closed. The staff has contacted guardians, informing them of the lockdown and asking them to confine all communications to telephone calls. Their temperatures are monitored regularly, they wash their hands frequently, and they sanitize their spaces. If necessary, local health facilities can provide Covid testing – though no child has exhibited any symptoms to date.

The staff is working hard to keep the children active, with ongoing opportunities for body, mind and spirit – and we have accompanied this update with some recent images of their activities. Angels’ Place continues to receive the supplies necessary to ensure that all children eat well during this time, but unfortunately, the costs have increased. We thank you for your generous contributions that have helped these children through such a frightening time, and please know that your continuing support helps us to keep pace with the shifting conditions.

We ask for your prayers for the children and staff of Angels’ Place, and for all the people of India, as they face the Covid pandemic.

The Children are Back!

We are happy to report that the children have returned to Angels’ Place. Throughout the months of quarantine, Angels’ Place provided rice and dal to the families of the children, so that they would have nourishment while away from the orphanage. Their return has progressed gradually, and as we wrote earlier, the older children came back first in order to resume school as soon as possible. The younger children have now also returned, and Angels’ Place now has 145 children, who all are eating well, learning, and receiving regular health monitoring.

Angels’ Place continues to observe public health protocols. Students and staff wear masks at all times, practice disciplined hand washing, and maintain social distancing. The children's temperatures are taken regularly to monitor for any signs of fever. Also, admittance to the grounds is restricted and closely monitored. The Coronavirus has not significantly affected the area of India where Angels’ Place is located, which is relatively rural and remote, and this is a significant blessing. We remain in constant communication with the staff, and they report that the children are healthy and active.

The James Connection continues to work hard on behalf of all aspects of supporting the children at Angels’ Place. The production of lemongrass remains ongoing, and DoTerra continues to purchase the lemongrass oil. Members of the team in both the U.S. and India are also investigating ways to expand our service to the children as they transition into adulthood. Angels’ Place has steadily built programs in vocational training to provide job skills and prepare the older children as they begin their independent lives, and we look forward to growing these efforts.

Throughout the time of the quarantine, Angels’ Place staff have maintained the facility and kept in contact with the children, to ensure their well-being. We thank all of our supporters for making it possible to sustain operations, provide food to the children, and nurture their health, education, and spirit through this difficult time. These children all had great needs before the pandemic, and your generosity has made it possible for us to help see them through the additional strain of a health crisis. Your sponsorship has kept them fed and kept the orphanage in excellent condition to welcome them on their return.

If you would like to learn more about the many ways to support our work, visit our Ways to Help page.

A Thanksgiving Update

With the arrival of Thanksgiving comes an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved at Angels’ Place during the fall of this very challenging year and to offer our thanks for blessings in the face of the daunting challenges. We are so grateful for the community of support that has made it possible for us to provide shelter for the children and food for the children of Angels’ Place throughout the pandemic. As we mentioned in our recent letter, your donations have made an impact, and your continued support is needed as we approach the close of 2020.

Through the fall, children in grades 7- 12 have returned to Angels’ Place and resumed their education in accordance with public health guidelines applied through the school system. Angels’ Place also provides supplementary opportunities during the time of the pandemic: on-site tutoring and writing instruction, library access, and special counseling sessions to support the mental health of the children during a stressful time. The lemongrass cultivation has continued this year, and sales bring a stream of earned revenue that supports the expenses of the orphanage – and also supports employment for local farmers in the community.

We ask for your continued prayers for the children and the staff of Angels’ Place. The pandemic has presented challenges to us all, and The James Connection has been working diligently to keep the children safe and healthy during this time, to help them continue their education, and to provide them with secure shelter and a nourishing diet – all of which your generosity has made possible. We need your donations now - perhaps more than ever before. As you consider your year-end charitable donations, please take time to support us again.

We give our thanks for you, for the staff of Angels’ Place, and for these wonderful children; and we wish you a safe and healthy Thanksgiving that reminds you of the many blessings that we have even in difficult times.

With prayers of thanksgiving,

The James Connection

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.