Saahas for Cause, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves the Indian American and larger South Asian community living in Los Angeles County and Orange County by educating, empowering, and enabling the immigrant community to improve their quality of life through its four chapters, is partnering with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
The organization is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and Community Partners, a non-profit organization, to provide a range of support services and distribute resources in the South Asian community, according to a press release.
Saahas for Cause is disseminating information and resources for COVID-19 and is educating the community on prevention and safety. It is assisting community members in selecting COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites and is providing options for quarantine and isolation.
It is also assisting members on how to avail public benefits such as medical, unemployment, CALFresh, etc.
The organization is distributing “Saahas care packages” that include hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, face masks, face shields and COVID-19 related educational flyers.
“Through our e-phone visitor program, our volunteers have been diligently calling the older adults in the community to help them with system navigation through the entire process of vaccination especially helping them with registering on the L.A. county’s website since many of them lack the computer skills to do it themselves,” Saahas for Cause said in the press release. “The volunteers also provide the older adults with emotional support since many of them are housebound during the pandemic and dealing with isolation and loneliness.”
It has helped people infected with the coronavirus by delivering food, groceries, cleaning supplies to them while they were isolating and unable to go out of their houses. It also provided them with emotional support and counselling while they were on their path to recovery.
Saahas for Cause has launched a new wing under its youth chapter called Public Health Project. Using information from evidence-based sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Saahas youths design and publish interactive and simplified infographics to educate and spread awareness about prevention of Covid, vaccines, and general myths about vaccines in various South Asian languages.
The organization has been outreaching virtually via Zoom to a wide audience in the community to educate them about prevention and safety measures during the pandemic. They invite doctors specializing in immunology as well as doctors who have been affected by the virus to educate the audience.
“They talked about simple everyday preventive measures, myths and facts, up to date information about testing and vaccination, quarantine vs isolation and symptoms about the pandemic,” said the release.
Saahas for Cause members have also been invited to various virtual events hosted by sub-community organizations like the Marathi Association, Tamil Association and WIPA.
Saahas for Cause also hosted a couple of Zoom meetings, wherein it invited subject matter experts to speak on the effects of the pandemic in their area of work.
During Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, the speaker explained how teen dating violence is evolving during the pandemic and how teenagers and young adults can protect themselves.
In another session, the speaker, an eminent lawyer, spoke about Covid-19 emergency orders introduced in courts and the Webex pilot program for restraining order hearings and new domestic violence laws in effect from 2021.
Saahas also assisted its Intimate Partner Violence victims and survivors with Covid-19 testing information, vaccination appointment assistance, and assisted clients who were tested positive for Covid-19 with therapy, grocery shopping, delivering food and isolation procedures.
Volunteers have been doing in-person outreach and distributing care packages at various places of worship like Panchmukha Hanuman Temple (Torrance), Sai Baba Temple (Montebello), Pashupatinath Temple (Norwalk), Sanatan Dharma Temple (Norwalk) and Lankershim Gurudwara (Hollywood area).
It has also installed thermometer/sanitization stands on the premises of these places of worship and in various South Asian grocery stores.