Seeing the plight of their neighbors 200 miles to the east, DHAN Foundation’s WomenStrong International leaders and staff members sprung into action, organizing emergency donations from people in Madurai and making their own personal contributions.
But organizing donations wasn’t enough. So, a 20-person team of WomenStrong/DHAN volunteers traveled to the flooded area and spent a week in and around Cuddalore, visiting 15 of the most hard-hit and inaccessible villages including Kullanchavadi, Kurinjipadi, Keerapalayam, and Parangipettai. Team members collaborated with local responders, organizing themselves into five groups that ultimately reached 1,760 flood victims with badly-needed aid.
WomenStrong/DHAN volunteers delivered $3,500 worth of necessities such as food clothing, first-aid materials, treatments for water borne illnesses, sanitary items for women, bed sheets, mats, cook stoves, biscuits and milk powder for children.
The relief teams worked endlessly to deliver response packages to communities where no other responders had yet ventured. But material necessities were not all that was delivered by the team. They also spent time in the communities listening, being present and consoling flood victims of every age.
A week after arrival, the WomenStrong/DHAN team continued its mission by establishing health camps in five villages to provide free care to more than 2,000 impoverished community members as they began to rebuild their lives.
The work of WomenStrong/DHAN Foundation volunteers, along with the dedicated support of the local DHAN team, provided a ray of hope by helping victims understand that they were not alone. Long after the material donations have served their purpose, that feeling of support will endure.