Teach For India campaign supports flood-ravaged Chennai

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A group of Indian men and women stand with a palate of flood relief supplies

In recent weeks, India’s eastern city of Chennai has been inundated with floods that severely impacted thousands of children and families in communities where Teach For India works. The rising water submerged houses, destroyed and washed away belongings, and has made obtaining clean water and food extremely challenging. As the flood crisis intensified, the Teach For India community sprung into action to provide relief and support to the affected communities.

The following is the most recent update from Archana Ramachandran, Teach For India’s Chennai City Director:

Over the past couple of weeks, our team of staff, Fellows and alumni have worked together to support our students and communities—a movement towards one cause!

We focused on the communities we work with to track individual students to safety, clean the school premises, and co-ordinate needs and supplies for the families. We also supported city-wide relief efforts in prioritized areas such as food and water, clothes and blankets, and medicines and health camps.

During the days that Chennai lost power, telephone, and internet connectivity, our Bengaluru team initiated and led on flood relief efforts for Chennai! They helped track our team to safety, sent us truckloads of crowd-sourced supplies, and along with staff from Pune, established rapid partnerships with ITC, PepsiCo, and Coke, among others, to provide Chennai supplies in large quantities.

The phrase 'One Team, One Mission' [a Teach For India’s motto] truly came alive during this time.

Our teams from other cities and Teach For All supported us with raising awareness and mobilizing resources across locations towards this shared cause, and it truly felt like a big family.

Our students from other cities wrote letters to those in Chennai with their thoughts and prayers for our city and people, reminding us that every experience is an opportunity for children to lead the way.

Our focus for the rest of December is on recreating our classrooms and schools as spaces that facilitate joyful, passionate learning at all times.