Working Together: Laura and Roshana – CBM Nepal

Stories | June 8, 2022

Each month, CBM Australia looks behind the scenes at our employees, who are devoted to improving the lives of people with disabilities in the poorest places on earth.

After a break of over two years, CBM Australia’s Program Coordinator for Nepal, Laura Nicholson, visited the CBM Nepal team last month to see first-hand how they had supported the people who were most vulnerable during the years when COVID-19 hit hard.

Laura and her Nepali colleague, Roshana, visited several projects together. This is what they had to say:

Laura: In Nepal, I met up with Roshana, and we travelled out to see some of our project work – we spent many days travelling across mountains on incredibly bumpy roads.

Roshana: Well, you call them mountains; we just call those hills!

Laura: We were higher than Mt Kosciuszko! We travelled to one remote area where our community mental health partner has been working. We met some people with mental health challenges who were part of self-help groups set up by the project.

They talked about some of the dark places that they had been in and how connecting with others had made such a difference. People in this area are poor, and day-to-day life is already tough, without also having challenges with mental health.

Roshana: The counselling services provided through our project team really helped them with some of the challenges. People felt they are coping so much better.

What do you both like most about your job with CBM in Nepal?  

Roshana: I like what CBM focuses on – you find very few organisations or donors that focus on things like mental health, eye health, ear health – it’s great. I really like being part of the work that is helping people, particularly people with disability and helping make sure they are included.

Laura:  I saw Roshana in action. She has fostered such a great relationship with our partners. She’s got a real passion for seeing changes in her own province as she grew up in this area we visited and really understands the issues that challenge people.

How has Laura helped the CBM Nepal team?

Roshana: So many ways! For example, in our mental health project, Laura helped us so much during the peak COVID time. She helped us come up with a COVID-support plan, how to divert budgets towards that, and how we can target mental health services that went beyond where we initially planned.

Laura:  So many people were having mental health issues, so we expanded our work.

Roshana: Because of this, the government has recognised us, and really respects the way that CBM came in to provide support at that hard time.
What do you like about working with CBM Australia?

Roshana: CBM Australia really cares about the need, and they are ready to support projects based on the need.  None of us expected COVID, which meant that our way of working had to suddenly become totally different. But CBM Australia has always been willing to tackle that sort of thing – adapting and responding – and that’s what I really like. 

Thank you, Laura and Roshana!

Check out how CBM is implementing real change in Nepal here.

 

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