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Hill NGOs Fight COVID with Wellbeing Campaign


By C.M. Paul
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Kolkata, May. 22. Sonada: A group of ten Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in the hills have come together to fight COVID-19 with a 15-week Wellbeing Campaign. Their slogans include: 'Bring Back the Smiles,' and 'We Build Each Other'.
''Using the hashtags #Bringbackthesmiles #Webuildeachother, the Wellbeing Campaign provides information and support in these trying times,'' said Adarsh Rai, Founder of Encompass and team member of Hayden Hall Darjeeling.

''We plan to do it from top-down directives to modelling everyday safety standards, from negativity to positive action language, from fear and doom to healing, wellbeing, hope and growth,'' said Psychologist Susan Subba of Heart-Works.

Art Mile Kalimpong director Virgil Sequeira said, ''The multi-platform digital media campaign provides simple life coping strategies that can also impact the community beyond the scope of the pandemic.''

Binita from Hayden Hall added that the campaign would reach every household in the Hills through social media posts, tele-support, local news and community radio broadcast in Nepali.

Radio Salesian-The Voice of the Hills, the first and only community radio of the Hills established in 2016, is the radio partner for the campaign. The radio talk series started on Saturday 22 May will have a repeat broadcast on Wednesdays for 15 weeks.

The topics discussed in the media campaign include education, music and the arts, social media, physical and mental wellbeing, legal rights, and urgently combating COVID through safety standards and vaccination.

The speakers representing the NGOs will address issues concerning people from all walks of life. The campaign also includes volunteers in villages calling up community members to check on them from time to time and form a customised response to their needs as linkages and content through campaign posts on social media channels.

These NGOs would solicit other non-profit and community-based groups and the media and opinion influencers to join the campaign and engage with social media posts to reach out to the community and start having conversations that build each other and bring back smiles.

The ten campaign partners are Hayden Hall Institute Darjeeling, Gandhi Ashram Kalimpong, DLR Prerna Darjeeling, Encompass Kalimpong, Art Mile Kalimpong, Heart-Works, Sumitra Yoga Shala, Vacay Workers, HIGLE, and DGC.

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