On March 24, 2020, India went into a complete lockdown with only four hours notice. The leprosy colonies were immediately plunged into dire circumstances to obtain food and medicines. Rising Star Outreach began to receive frantic calls from various colonies begging us for help. People from the leprosy colonies said they did not fear the virus nearly as much as they feared starving to death. India is now one of the hotspots for the virus and areas of the country are still under mandatory lockdown (including the region where our main campus is located).
Since the lockdown began, Rising Star Outreach’s team has been working tirelessly to provide support in the form of food, medicines, and wound care kits to members of over 170 colonies in 9 states across India. Over 1/3 of these are colonies that we have previously never been able to work with. Thanks to our partners like APAL, LEPRA, UNICEF, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we’ve been able to reach more people than ever before. Thus far, we have reached over 10,380 families — 52,320 individuals — with this relief effort, and the work is still ongoing. Our students are remaining at home with their families and we are preparing resources to allow them to maintain their education through remote learning as this pandemic continues. Gratefully, to date we have not yet had a single case of COVID-19 in any of the colonies we work with or with any of our students or staff. This is a miracle to us.
We will continue to keep you updated on the situation. In the meantime, we just want to acknowledge that we could not have done this without our many partners and supporters, locally and abroad! Because of you, lives are literally being saved each day. Please consider helping us during this time so that we can continue to provide these necessary services.
With thanks, the entire Rising Star Outreach family