09 Apr An Update on Our Progress
It’s been a while since we updated you on what’s been happening at Child Rescue Nepal. So far Nepal has been largely unaffected by the Coronavirus, mainly because the government has moved swiftly to limit movement in and out of the country. However, the risk remains high. If an outbreak does occur in Nepal, the consequences would be devastating because of the lack of medical facilities and specialised equipment. Our staff in Nepal are keeping abreast of all the government directives and ensuring our staff adhere to the guidance provided.
However, the strongly-enforced lockdown has meant that many are suffering. A large proportion of the country are daily wage earners; if they cannot work, they won’t eat. In addition, deliveries have stopped, shops have closed and remote communities are starting to suffer. This article explains the challenges in more detail.
In our own experience, we are starting to hear stories of communities struggling for food in the district of Makwanpur, where we have been working for the past seven years. For example, at one school in Dokotar, the lunch we funded for each child was often their only meal of the day. We are exploring ways of helping, but we can’t physically deliver food or transfer funds (because banks are closed). However, we are in touch with school principals and community representatives by telephone to see if they can provide food for local communities on the understanding that we will reimburse them later. We will let you know how this situation develops.
Our response in Nepal:
1. We are making sure that the children in our care homes remain positive, informed and occupied. This week they have been making posters on how to stay safe from the Coronavirus (see picture).
2. We are playing an active part in the national Child Protection networks that continue to meet by Zoom. These include government and other international charities such as UNICEF and Save the Children.
3. As already mentioned, we are in contact with communities in the district of Makwanpur who may start to struggle for food. If is is logistically possible, we may start to provide sacks of rice and dhal.
You will have read previously that we have paused our proactive rescue programme. This means we are not undertaking any observational visits. However we know that during this lockdown period, some children may be extremely vulnerable. If we are contacted by the police with an emergency situation, we will still accept rescued children who need a safe refuge.
The situation in the UK:
1. Although this week the Chancellor has announced a support package for charities of £750m, this is only available to those providing frontline services in the UK. Unfortunately, charities like ours that support disadvantaged children and communities overseas will not receive any funds. If you are able to make a donation to support our work at this time, we would be extremely grateful.
2. To reduce our costs, we have decided to make use of the government-sponsored Coronavirus job retention scheme and have temporarily furloughed our fundraiser, Alicia. This means she is unable to do any work for Child Rescue Nepal during this time. However, Jo Bega is continuing to work and can be contacted with any query by replying to this email.
3. We are making savings where we can, as we have had to put all events and fundraising activities on hold. Please do remember our team of marathon runners who were supposed to be running 26 miles around London on 26 April. Think of them as they try and stay motivated to keep training and fundraising going until the new London marathon date of 4 October.
Let us end by reminding you once again that we are here for you. If you wish to talk or to connect with someone at this time, please leave a message at 0207 183 0353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep safe and have a peaceful Easter weekend.