Chitwan is in the Terai region of southern Nepal close to the Indian border. On a normal day, the HL Chitwan Hockey and Daycamp programs have between 200-300 kids each. Through these programs, the team joins hands with parents and the community to provide holistic care for the children in need in the area.
Since the pandemic, the Chitwan programs have not been able to run normally. The staff have had to switch from children’s programs to relief work in order to continue to serve these children and their families. This week we will be looking at the various relief programs the Chitwan Team has organized during the pandemic.
Jungle Community Outreach
Although the pandemic has caused changes for the Chitwan team, they have not wasted any time. Since March, they have been handing out food provisions to various families in southern Nepal including jungle communities and slum communities. These packages contain a sack of rice and cooking oil, the basis of every Nepalese diet.
In a direct way, this team is addressing the growing need for families who normally rely on daily labour to survive. Loveson, the HL Chitwan Project Director estimates that they have reached out to over 200 families since the beginning of the pandemic and plans to reach many more!
Street Children Outreach
As families in Nepal struggle with the loss of work and income, more street children have been showing up across the country. In the area of Chitwan, having street children is a relatively new phenomenon. With the increase in intense poverty facing families and communities, more and more children have taken to the streets. The Chitwan Team has been providing 25-30 kids with food each day to address this increasing need. Food is prepared by the Chitwan leaders, Loveson and Indra, in their home and then loaded onto a scooter then distributed at central points where the children gather.
An incident occurred last week where around 60 homeless adults harassed Loveson and his team as they tried to distribute food to the kids. They did so in such a way (“We’re hungry too!”) that the team literally had to flee. This revealed the intensity of the need in this area. We are thankful for the Chitwan staff and volunteer’s perseverance and dedication to supporting their community in this hard time!
To read more about how COVID-19 is affecting the Himalayas, click here.