Tulashi is a community teacher in Nepal. She told us about the effects of Nepal’s strict lockdown on her community and how she is taking an active role in supporting families. 

What impact has coronavirus had on your community?

Most of the community member’s livelihoods depends upon daily wages but since the whole nation has locked down, people are not allowed to move from one region to another, let alone go to work. And with no work, there is no source of income and therefore most people are finding it difficult to sustain and survive. People do not have enough agricultural land and agricultural produce is barely enough for three months. The local government distributed food relief to families and also provided five days of road construction work but this is not enough. Most of the parents of our students are migrant workers. Their parents are stuck in India, Gulf countries, and even in different regions across our own country.

What effect are school closures having on children?

With schools closed, children are being deprived of education for more than two months. I hear that online classes are being run in cities but here we do not have a proper phone connection, let alone have internet access. Not being able to come out from their houses and play with their friends and listening to different news is affecting children psychologically. They are feeling lonely, fearful, and tensed.

How is UWS helping?

The UWS team has opened the school’s water and handwashing facilities for our community. We use the wash station to clean ourselves. Almost all of the community members and children have developed the habit of handwashing. The UWS team has also been spreading awareness about covid-19. UWS has also launched an educational radio program called “Hamro Kachya.” Children are not used to listening to radios but they are slowly learning to adapt to the new environment. I think it is an accessible and important program which not only provides an opportunity for children to learn from their houses but also helps to chase away their boredom and make them feel connected to their school. We need to spread more awareness in the communities but it is being difficult due to strict lockdown and continuous rainfall.

What is your role?

I am playing an active role as an informed community and UWS team member to help spread awareness about covid-19 and reaching out to community members, parents, and students to inform them about our water and handwashing facilities and radio programs. I am also given the responsibility to monitor the situation and provide support to people if needed in the community.

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