"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4).
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, was recently asked what keeps her up at night? She mentioned trying to get everyone vaccinated before the variants take hold in the U.S. and keeping everyone here safe. But she then went on to echo the WHO Director saying that “we need to remain responsible citizens of the world and make sure the rest of the world is taken care of.” In that spirit, the Outreach Committee held an emergency meeting to authorize $3,000 be sent to SEWA International.
After researching groups, SEWA International, with its 4-star rating on Charity Navigator and its Hindu faith-based mission, was chosen because they have an extensive network in place in India and have been getting desperately needed oxygen concentrators and lifesaving equipment to fight the horrific COVID-19 wave that recently hit India. SEWA International has been able to procure 7,482 oxygen concentrators and have shipped 5,000 already. They have another shipment of ventilators and oxygen concentrators shipping out in a week, working with UPS, who is donating their services.
Many on the Committee prayed before our meeting to help us find the right path to help. The Outreach Committee felt it very important that our Good Shepherd donation go specifically to help with oxygen after hearing dire stories on the news and from friends with ties to India. One million people in India are predicted to die of Covid-19 by August. As of May 7, 150 people were reportedly dying every hour, partly because of the unavailability of oxygen, particularly in the remote villages.
The Committee called SEWA International and spoke to Minal Joshi, who is the National Coordinator of the Family Service Project in San Francisco. She said, “India is a huge country and their health care system can’t handle a problem of this magnitude, so SEWA started setting up makeshift hospitals in the smaller villages and was able to get 2,500 oxygen concentrators to India within 8 days of the crisis beginning at the end April.” She was very grateful to Good Shepherd and promised our donation will be used to help people get the oxygen they need to recover.
If you want to see more of what SEWA International is doing, here is a short video. https://www.facebook.com/sewainternationalusa/videos/604916810464516