Every lives matters: COVID-19 relief program
In late 2019 COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO (World Health Organization). Throughout the globe, many nations suffered from this highly contagious virus. However, Nepal remained safe. The scene changed in early 2021, as with the influx of migrant workers from the south. Nepal was not prepared to handle such a high volume of people. Thus, it acted as a recipe for spraying COVID-19. When the people returned to their respective homes, the first wave of COVID-19 began in Nepal. It forced the government to carry out nationwide lockdown.
Nepal’s actions were swift. This swift action made it impossible for the people to prepare for a lengthy lockdown. The government was not ready for it, so they were in no position to help its citizens. Thus, begin the suffering of general people. People from marginalized communities and day-to-day laborers are first to suffer. Philanthropists started to feed people, and a large crowd gathered in those places. It was a good initiative but not safe. It could spill a virus outbreak from such a situation.
The Society for Humanism (SOCH) Nepal with the support of Himalayan Care Hands, Holland, studied and assessed the situation. It realized that an immediate relief package is needed to help those people in need. Hence, it organized a relief distribution program for families from Okhaldunga (23), Gorkha (25), and Kathmandu (73). Altogether 121 families from marginalized communities and day-to-day working laborers were helped. The need of these families was urgent. They were facing challenges to fulfill their basic needs. Chakra Nepali’s (name changed) family is one of those many families who received help from SOCH Nepal.
” Chakra Nepali (name changed), 29 years old man originally from Dang, Nepal developed a problem with his head, when he was seven years old. Due to his financial situation, he could not get good health treatment. With a lack of treatment, his head wound could not heal properly. As time passed, his eyes were affected, and he lost his eyesight.
Chakra lost his parents when he was 12 years old. In the absence of their parents, his brother took care of him. Extreme poverty forced his brother to India in search of work. After that, Chakra came to Kathmandu in search of a living. Upon arriving in Kathmandu, he received training in making incense sticks with the help of an organization. And then he started making incense sticks and selling them in shops.
Chakra got married one year ago, and now he has a 6-month-old baby. He lost his only living due to COVID-19. It made it practically impossible for him to feed his child and wife. SOCH Nepal found his family and handed him one month’s worth of supplies. He appreciated and thanked SOCH Nepal and Himalayan Care Hand, Holland.”
In this pandemic, a single working woman who earned a living for her family suffered a lot. Kamala Rai (Name changed) is one of many such women.
“Kamala Rai is a differently able single woman. At present, she lives in Kathmandu with her mother and two daughters. After the sudden death of her husband, her family lost their only source of income. It was a difficult time for her. She struggled to find work because of her physical challenge. Later, she got a job in a hotel as a helper. However, she lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It made it difficult for her to provide for the family. SOCH Nepal found her family in a dire situation and handed him one month’s worth of supplies. She tearfully appreciated and thanked SOCH Nepal and Himalayan Care Hands, Holland for the help. “
Januka Pariyar is hard working single woman. She came to Kathmandu in a search of living, but pandemic changed her life completely.
“Januka Pariyar (name changed) is a 33-year-old single woman originally from the Dolakha district. She lives in Jadibuti, Kathmandu with her only son (7 Years old). She left her husband’s home when he remarried another woman. She came to Kathmandu to find a job. However, it was too difficult to find a job. She was illiterate and found a job in a hotel. The hotel got closed during the pandemic, and she lost her job. In the meantime, she had to undergo surgery on her son’s leg. It added more financial strain to her already dire situation. The situation became so severe that it was difficult for her to feed her family. SOCH Nepal found her family and handed her one month’s worth of supplies. She tearfully appreciated and thanked SOCH Nepal and Himalayan Care Hands, Holland for the help. ”
The Society for Humanism (SOCH) studied and assessed the situation of marginalized people during the nationwide lockdown. It realized the need for intervention and carried out a relief distribution program. This program helped poor, differently able, Dalit, and single women. Altogether it helped 121 families from different districts of Nepal. Though this program was a small-scale program, its impact was huge. It came at a time when they could not feed their family. So, for the people benefiting from this project, it changed their lives.