With the pandemic creating chaos around the world, Nepal adopted maximum restrictions to ensure the safety of their country’s citizens. However, the immediate lockdown on the entire country was unexpected and nobody was prepared for the extensive list of rules that they had to abide by. A country where the majority of the people live below the poverty line, hundreds and thousands of people work in the neighboring country, India, to make ends meet. As the panic spread, people started to return home. Limited health assistance, equipment and food scarcity made an already overwhelming situation even worse for Nepalese people.
The covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the education sector as well. Children and their families in developing countries like Nepal do not have the same access and support that we do here in Australia. There are no government stimulus packages being offered and very few Nepali people are working. General expenses like food and fuel have tripled in price and families are really suffering. All schools, including the World Youth International School, have shut down and there is no infrastructure in place for children to be educated remotely through online learning programs.
Prathistha, a year 10 student from World Youth International School, was supposed to sit her exams this year. Now that the exams have been postponed until further notice, she feels her future is uncertain.
“I feel under a huge amount of pressure. People are panicking all around me and my parents are worried about our survival. The situation has created anxiety and trauma. I am worried I won’t be able to go back to school. I want to have hope for my future again,” said Prathistha.
Education is crucial for breaking the cycle of poverty so many families have lived in for generations in Nepal. For most families, their children are the first generation to be literate, and to have access to education at all. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the development of the community.
“Due to the low economic condition of most of the families who attend this School, providing technology so that students can complete classes online is not manageable. I am also worried that the families who went back to rural villages may not return because of unemployment and fear of health risks. When we are permitted to re-open, most students will require counselling sessions; this situation has created fear inside these children and some will need extra time and support to be able to flourish again in an educational environment,” said the Principal of the School, Nirajan.
The School has been encouraging the students that they have been able to stay in contact with, to focus on their fitness and mindfulness to stay optimistic while they are away from School.
“We are highlighting to the students that we all face various situations throughout our life and have to realise we cannot control every situation,” said Uttam Pathak, Director of the School.
We need to stand united and use grassroots generosity to show that we are all in this together, beginning to end. Even as many face financial uncertainty, generosity is not about size. We all have something to give, and every act of human consideration and kindness matters.
World Youth International are now collecting donations on behalf of the World Youth International School in Nepal and need your support. All donations received are fully tax deductible and will allow World Youth International to pay teacher’s wages, maintain the school grounds and prepare for the extra support the students may need when they return. Please open your hearts and donate generously here.