United Way of Chennai – an ALERT Being Organization

United Way of Chennai, a non-profit organization focuses on working towards addressing the issues pertaining to education, health, livelihood environment with a focus on social inclusion. Through its initiative, ‘The Covid Express’, it supported 118 individuals along with their families during their most distressed moments after losing their sole breadwinners to COVID 19. 

The Covid Express initiative by United Way of Chennai in collaboration with United Way Worldwide was recognized for saving lives and was awarded in the 7th edition of Alert Being Awards under the category ‘An Alert Being Organization’. This initiative was a unique one-of-a-kind intervention catering to the diverse needs of 118 vulnerable families living below the poverty line across 11 districts bringing hope for a resilient living. The initiative aimed at providing livelihood and educational support for 118 individuals, thereby impacting their families. 

Eighty-four individuals received livelihood support enabling their families to be economically equipped despite the loss of the breadwinner. Tailoring machines were provided to 33 individuals, empowering them to use their skill for income generation. Livestock support included the distribution of goats to 14 families and cows to 13 families, ensuring sustainable sources of income. Diverse entrepreneurial setups, such as incense stick, rice batter, and Athirasam batter making machines, aided in creating avenues for livelihood. Support for inventory was provided to decoration shops, stationery shops and grocery shops, to foster entrepreneurship and economic stability. In Kanyakumari, an E-Sevai Center (electronic service centre) was set up with the active support of the district administration, for a family that had lost all its male members to the pandemic. This initiative will support all the women in that family and will also help the surrounding community get access to several government schemes.

A total of 34 students received scholarships, enabling uninterrupted access to education despite the challenging circumstances their families faced due to the pandemic. We believe that by helping these students continue their education, we have helped them for life. Instead of despair and gloom they now have hope and optimism that after completing their education they will secure a promising job. 

‘The Covid Express’ initiative demonstrated a comprehensive approach in addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by affected families. Through comprehensive and tailored interventions in economic stability, education, and psychological support, this initiative actively combats the life-threatening consequences of the pandemic. By ensuring livelihood opportunities, securing access to education, and providing vital emotional support, the project significantly reduces the vulnerability of these families to poverty-related health risks. The aim is clear: by empowering them with the means to sustain themselves economically, fostering educational continuity, and offering emotional stability, the project tangibly contributes to saving lives, ensuring a brighter, healthier, and more resilient future for every family involved.

United Way of Chennai, through its comprehensive and tailored interventions combats the life-threatening consequences of the pandemic thus was awarded An Alert Being Organization in the 7th edition of Alert Being Awards.  

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