‘A TSUNAMI of cases are coming in this wave, and we can’t give up.’
Those were the stark words of Cork native Maureen Forrest, founder and volunteer CEO of The Hope Foundation, as she made an urgent appeal for donations to help the charity cope with India’s soaring Covid case numbers.
India now has the second-highest number of Covid cases globally — in excess of 15 million.
Founded in 1999, The Hope Foundation provides support for severely underprivileged and vulnerable children living on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata.
The pandemic has presented the charity with unprecedented challenges.
“It is so very difficult to see our friends and colleagues struggle, risking their own lives to help those in great poverty and dire need right now,” Ms Forrest said.
“Their tireless dedication is both inspirational and heart-breaking at the same time.
“We can only try our best here to fundraise to help them continue, but we are now so limited as to what we can do.
“One can sometimes feel helpless in the face of such adversity, but we remain positive that people will continue to give what they can to assist the hospital.
“People have been so generous in the past and we are very grateful because we rely so much on their generosity”.
Due to the increasing number of people being hospitalised, The Hope Foundation has now opened two 10-bed Covid wards, treating people from the streets and slums who would otherwise have no access to any healthcare.
When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out last year, Hope immediately set up emergency response teams and began feeding tens of thousands of children and their families.
Then, in May, another disaster hit in the form of Super Cyclone Amphan which had a devastating effect in Bengal.
Hope says the effects of the pandemic and cyclone continue to have a profound impact.
Kolkata is now a Covid-19 hotspot with many hospitals already at capacity. It has launched an appeal to help the hospital treat patients and provide PPE.
To donate visit www.hopeshop.ie/covid-19-emergency-response/ or call 021 4292990