Thursday, 05 Aug 2021
Help, When it Seems There is No Hope From Anywhere
Life was already tough for Sher (pictured) before COVID-19 took away his ability to earn an income.
Sher lives with and is the sole carer of his 59-year-old sister, Maya, in Helambu, Nepal. Born with physical and speech impairments, Maya relies on the support of her family to cook, eat and take care of herself. Living on a small plot of land that provides enough produce to support them for three months of the year, the family survive on Maya’s small social security allowance and on the extra income Sher receives from additional work on local farms. While Sher had hoped that his son would be able to go work abroad and earn extra income for the family, those plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Sher lost all the money he had borrowed to invest in his son’s future overseas. To make matters worse, Sher himself was unable to work on farms due to stringent lockdown measures. And so, he was left trying to feed the family with no income and with growing interest on the loan.
There was a sense of being forgotten in the pandemic, with Sher noting that no relief supplies had been distributed by the government. Despite Maya holding a government issued disability identity card, no additional support was provided to her or the family.
Heavy rainfall and landslides in the district only increased the need of people in the district, especially people with disabilities, and increased the logistical challenges of delivering supplies to the community. Despite this, the CBM project, in partnership with local governments and inclusive community committees, identified 810 vulnerable households who needed basic supplies. The project involved numerous partner organisations, who worked together to provide a holistic response. SAPRPOS Nepal, a livelihood focused organisation, used their logistical expertise and strong local networks to develop COVID-safe distribution mechanisms for essential food and hygiene items.
Sher expressed his gratitude, saying, “This assistance provided by SAPPROS Nepal at a time when there is no hope from anywhere is enough to provide rations for one month. There are also cleaning soaps, towels, brushes and toothpaste. The pack also has a mask and sanitizer for my sister. This will make our diet and health easier and better for both my sister and me. I am very happy.”
With a second wave of COVID-19 devastating Nepal and its health system in recent months, the work is far from over. CBM Australia continues to support development projects strengthening livelihoods in the area complemented by COVID-19 specific initiatives.
You can help! Make a donation today. Your donation will go towards a broad range of initiatives that support all our communities to better face the risk of COVID-19.