Giving Impact: LotusRelief


In May our global community came together around #GivingTuesdayNow to acknowledge our connectedness and stand together as part of a worldwide emergency response to the consequences of COVID-19. At Lotus Outreach we initiated LotusRelief to serve vulnerable communities during times of crisis such as this. Since May we have been doing everything we can to meet the needs of our beneficiaries. We could do so only with thanks to the incredible support of our community and the dedication of our team and partners on the ground.

The LotusRelief event received $25,850, nearly 175% of our goal, and was our most successful campaign to date in terms of unique donors. We feel this is a testament to our global readiness for genuine transformation and change. We are moved by the outpouring of generosity and the spirit of collaboration and giving that is the oxygen of all of our work. 

Since the campaign we have applied $21,413 in relief funds across multiple programs including EQU+, Kapadia Scholars, Garden of Peace, Buddha Smiles, ASHA, CATALYST, GATE, and Integrated Rural Development (IRD). We are astonished at the far reaching impacts of this single campaign. Read below to learn about how your generosity made a difference. 

Activities Since May 

Our COVID-19 response was built on the networks of our existing programs and team. In March we pivoted and since then have had a multidimensional response to the needs of the communities we serve. 

Children of EQU+ are supported in home studies by teachers and volunteers

EQU+ & Kapadia Scholars

When India went into lockdown our EQU+ teachers and scholarship student volunteers ran a food relief kitchen for vulnerable migrant families in a Northwest slum in Delhi. Early April through June we provided 7,842 meals to 75 families unable to afford gas to cook for themselves as well as dry rations to some 355 people from 55 families. These food rations truly brought hope and light to these most vulnerable families including those that are handicapped, single parents, migrant laborers without work and so on.

In June, we teamed up with a local NGO, Sajha Manch, who had funds for meals but no gas  for running their kitchen. This partnership ensured an additional 2,100 meals were served. 

Our EQU+ teachers focused on delivering additional items to the desperate families of EQU+ children living in their slum including cooked food, dry rations, and fresh milk daily. They also posted information throughout their community about COVID-19 prevention and care. 

Garden of Peace & Buddha Smiles 

Since lockdown went into effect in India on March 24th our Garden of Peace and Buddha Smiles programs partner, Professor Manivannan and his team of university volunteers and GOP teachers, have delivered life saving rations to around 250 families, more than 1,050 of the most vulnerable people in Tamil Nadu, South India. 

Mani, our partner of 20+ years, and his team have been travelling out every couple of days providing dry rations and oil to the most vulnerable migrant families, including stone quarry workers, the handicapped, and elderly. Mani has also reached out to our Buddha Smiles community teachers working in the tribal communities of the Amirthi forests to identify and provide rations to the most needy families in their areas. 

In partnership with LotusRelief Professor Manivannan and his team have provided some 22 lbs of rice and 4.5 lbs of dwar-daal and oil to each family. 

Distribution of 5,000 masks across 150 villages


Despite highly restricted movement in India our ASHA program coordinator, Sekhawat, coordinated the delivery of 22,500 bars of soap and 5,000 masks to 900 anganwadi health workers across 150 villages. He eventually hired a small carrier van to help him make the deliveries to health workers across Mewat which was red-zoned for movement. 

These health workers are the first line of health defense in their communities and were asked by the Indian government to continue their duties supplying nutrition and support to pregnant and early mothers and children during lockdown. Our network of health workers were concerned about going from house to house so it was a great relief to them that White Lotus Charitable Trust and Lotus Outreach could provide these protective materials as well as guidance for health advocacy relevant to the crisis in these communities. We’ve already been working on WASH initiatives for three years but we again impressed the importance of hand washing and masks as protective measures for COVID-19. 

A CATALYST scholar putting her LotusRelief smartphone to use


Given the success of LotusRelief we were able to expand our intended application of funds towards Lotus Outreach Cambodia (LOCAM) to address the particular challenges our scholarship students are facing. We called residential students back to their group home where their educational goals are protected and nurtured even while schools in Cambodia remain closed. At the same time, we have been ensuring all 56 of our university scholarship students remain connected, engaged, and are able to access online education and study when it is available. 

LOCAM activities supported include:

  • Hiring of a CATALYST scholar, Chakaran, as the residential home caretaker for 12 months. 
  • Installing a motion-sensor video security system connected to a cell phone for 24-hour security monitoring at the residence. 
  • Subscribing to an internet plan at the residential home that provides scholars access to online study. 
  • Two family homes of CATALYST students were damaged during the wet season and we applied LR funds for their roofing and walls. 
  • Purchasing 6 smartphones and repaired 1 for students’ access to online education. 
  • Installing two desktop computers in the CATALYST residential home to ensure further access to online research, study, and education for our scholars. 
Hygiene and sanitation advocacy in Svay Rieng province

Integrated Rural Development (IRD) 

We collaborated with our Cambodian partner, Santi Sena, to distribute seeds and raise hygiene awareness for rural farmers. In April, they requested support for their sanitation and hygiene advocacy to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in a target area of 2,000 families. With the funds applied from LotusRelief they were able to purchase hand-washing soap, sanitizer, and home fumigation items for the 2,000 families. They encouraged hygienic behavioral practices through local campaigns using 17 advocacy banners, 5 billboards, and consultation with local NGO and government partners in 68 villages in two districts of the Svay Rieng province, Cambodia. 

Expenditure Summary 

EQU+ & Kapadia Scholars$1,713
Garden of Peace & Buddha Smiles $3,425
ASHA $5,205 
CATALYST and GATE $8,545
Integrated Rural Development (IRD) $2,525
LotusRelief India10,343
LotusRelief Cambodia $11,070
LotusRelief Total Expenditure as of 06.25.20 $21,413

Thank you.

If you are interested in supporting LotusRelief efforts across our programs, beneficiaires and our partner communities please do not hesitate to contact us. You can write to to inquire about ways to give to Lotus Outreach in the context of this uncharted and challenging time.