Learning online during the pandemic has not been easy for children across the country. Young students have felt the brunt of the impact of Covid-19 in many ways, but most poignantly in their learning environments. There was an overwhelming level of relief and excitement among the UK Dawoodi Bohras when in-person Saturday School resumed. However, this excitement was tinged with a hint of anxiety about what might transpire if Covid-19 spread from mainstream schools (where restrictions had been significantly eased) to children attending Saturday School, and further on to vulnerable family members who may be at home.
It was in this turbulent period of optimism mixed with trepidation that Bohra parents and children came together to provide an added layer of community safety. During the first week of mainstream school in September, Covid-19 was rapidly running through schools causing disruption. At this time, the parents came together in the spirit of helping the Saturday School stay open and stay safe.
Together, the parents initiated a system using existing communication platforms to remind parents to Lateral Flow test their children and bring the results on Saturday morning when they came for drop off. A dedicated team of community members and parents arrive early every Saturday to set up testing checkpoints, offer advice on the importance of testing, and provide self-testing on site if needed. As a result, the vast majority of children have been testing every week at home on Saturdays and understand the importance of doing so.
This simple service by Bohra volunteers has led to a safer environment for learning and helped to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks in the local community. This is a shining example of how a new way of life does not have to be unsafe or unnecessarily restrictive, and it is all down to the sense of community spirit and cohesion within the people of the Dawoodi Bohras of London.
The Dawoodi Bohras of London are proud to be doing their part to help keep London safer and help stop the spread of Covid-19.