Category Archives: COVID19

A Busy Summer at Angels’ Place

The summer has been a busy time at Angels’ Place!

India continues to face the Covid-19 pandemic. The rate of new cases has declined since the worst period, which was in May of this year, but the disease remains a primary concern for the nation and for managing the community at Angels’ Place. Manipur, the state where Angels’ Place is located, has had lower occurrence of Covid-19, which is fortunate for the staff and children. All those over the age of 18 have received at least one vaccination, and all of the children remain protected by the measures taken by the staff: masking, daily temperature checks, and a no-visitor policy to the campus.

To date, no child has contracted Covid-19, a blessing for which we are thankful.

The state education department decided this summer to cancel board exams for the older children in order to reduce transmission risk for Covid-19. The staff has been working hard to keep the children involved in activities and to support education during this time while the school system has been suspended. Earlier this year, a number of the children participated in a painting competition, and staff has presented a number of presentations geared toward learning professional skills and cultivating a healthy work-life balance as the older students approach adulthood. We also are pleased to share news of several programs held over the summer:

  • Core Classes: In order to keep children on track with their schooling and keep them engaged in studies, the staff started to teach regular classes for all children from nursery school through Class 10. The on-site instructors have divided the responsibilities for teaching writing, communication skills, and reasoning skills. Additionally, students in Classes 9 and 10 are also taking classes in social science, science, English, and mathematics.
  • Bible Study: In July staff had Bible study, which was divided into two groups: nursery school through Class 6, and Classes 7-12.
  • Sewing: Eight of the students participate in vocational training in sewing, which had been suspended because of the pandemic. The program resumed this summer, with modifications to protect everyone’s health.
  • Online Painting Class: A weekly online painting class was organised for interested children ages 9-12. A professional designer, Mrs. Smriti Ahuja, taught the course titled “Healing with Paint.”

Finally, we are pleased to report the graduation of 12 children from their schooling and from Angels’ Place. Sanga and other staff members held a ceremony on July 2, to congratulate them and offer encouragement as they enter their independent adult lives. During the program, the children expressed their heartfelt gratitude to James Connection sponsors and the staff of Angels' Place for all the years of love, care and nurturing that they have received. Their successful transition into adulthood has come due to the generous support of all the James Connection sponsors, who have provided them with a safe and secure home, nourishment, education, and spiritual enrichment.

May Update from Angels’ Place

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to bring much suffering to India as a nation. We pray for comfort for those who mourn so many lost and pray for hope as vaccination efforts continue. We are grateful to report that the children and staff of Angels’ Place remain safe, and we bring this update in the context of a nation experiencing tremendous hardship.

As we reported in past updates, the state of Churachandpur has not seen the same sort of rapid spread of the virus as elsewhere in India. Vaccination distribution has been steady, and healthcare centers have vaccination clinics twice per week, with 150 slots available. The appointments fill rapidly, and Angels’ Place works to get as many appointments as possible when a new drive begins. At this point the majority of staff and children at Angels’ Place have received the vaccine, and the staff anticipates that the rest will receive the vaccine very soon with the next phase of distribution.

We are happy to report that all the children are healthy, and none have shown any symptoms. Schools in India remain closed, and the staff will provide education to the children in the meantime. The campus of Angels’ Place remains under lockdown. The children have their temperature checked regularly, and as a precaution, the staff created two isolation rooms, one for boys and one for girls. In the event that someone shows any symptoms, they would remain in the isolation room until they are tested. Due to the successful quarantine process at Angels’ Place, the children have the opportunity for physical activity, a social community, learning, and spiritual nurturing within the safe environment of the campus.

We continue to be so grateful for the ongoing support of our James Connection community in helping us weather this crisis. The children are healthy and happy because of the resources and services we are able to provide. If you are not part of our community and want to learn more about what you can do to help, visit our Ways to Help page for information about the different ways you can get involved.

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.