In May 2020, Karuna launched a large-scale mobilisation campaign for those suffering from the Covid-19 crisis in India and Nepal. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors, we have been able to develop numerous actions adapted to the areas of intervention and the reality experienced by those we help.

Today, our action continues !

The devastating impact of Covid

Both India and Nepal have experienced national lockdowns from March 2020 on. The effects have been unprecedented: an economic crisis and large-scale migration, the end of tourism, the closure of schools and the stopping of food supply chains in remote areas. Thousands of people who were already vulnerable are now in a very precarious situation.

We have decided to act, adapting to the different needs of each person, in India and Nepal

Focus on our response in Nepal

Our emergency programme focuses on three areas: education – with home-based education and the securing of schools; health – with the promotion and support of health and hygiene, particularly among pregnant women and infants; and finally family farming. We work mainly in the districts of Kavre and Sindhuli.

“The school sanitation facilities have not only prevented covid-19 infection, but have also contributed to the development of good hygiene practices among the students. The school materials provided by the organisation have also helped the students to learn on their own at home” ~ Maan Bahadur Rana Magar and Khila Magar, teachers atShree Secondary School, Mahadevdanda, Phikkal

While most schools remain closed, we continue to support those schools that are able to gradually resume classes in safety. We also accompany girls and women in sewing workshops to make reusable menstrual pads. Indira is one of these women.

In June, Indira was employed by Karuna to make cloth masks. Today, Indira is working on making reusable towels.

I am looking forward to this activity because in our village we traditionally make towels out of old clothes by sewing them by hand and they are not very hygienic. With better quality fabrics and proper training, I am sure we will really help the girls and women

Her sewing machine, donated by Karuna, has also enabled her to start her own business : “With the machine, I can also make dresses for the villagers and earn money. This year, during the local Dasain festival, I earned 350€ from my sales!”

Focus on our response in India

Our work in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand focuses on the distribution of essential items to those particularly affected by the containment and the pandemic, as well as financial support for small businesses.

Tripurari Singh, the Coordinator of Villages in Bihar : “It was heartbreaking to see many families surviving on rice and starch only, as without daily work they had no money to buy vegetables. In these difficult times, the distribution of basic necessities gave the poor and distressed a break. In addition to our intervention villages, we extended our support to the urban poor such as e-rickshaw drivers, transport workers and beggars.”

Tulsi Purti, a resident of Musabani village in Jharkhand, is the mother of two children. Before the containment, her husband worked as a driver for a local transport company. Unfortunately, with the pandemic and the containment, the transport company had to close down and Tulsi’s husband lost his job.

When the lockdown was prolonged, we used up all our savings. We needed alternative livelihoods to make ends meet, so I came up with the idea of selling homemade snacks to make a living. We couldn’t even afford the initial investment, but Karuna-Shechen helped us to start our business.

The crisis continues, so does our action

While India has suffered 150,000 deaths from Covid, making it the third worst affected country, Nepal is still suffering from the disease, with nearly 270,000 cases in total. Karuna’s teams continue to work alongside each of our beneficiaries to give them the means to overcome the crisis. Thanks to your donations, we can maintain this commitment. THANK YOU!

Our work continues! Your donation makes a difference, providing them with opportunities for autonomy and development.

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