A virtual Instagram LIVE update from the Merging NepSocs team informed viewers the progress being made from the Covid-19 initiative. The initiative came in response to support international Nepalese students in the UK who are currently facing challenges due to coronavirus. The conversation between Bishnu Gaire and Gaumaya Gurung today revealed that the group are currently financially supporting eighty-three students with nineteen students receiving food packages.
The helpline has proved to be hugely popular, highlighting the importance of connection during this period. Bishnu and Gaumaya shared about the shift-like patterns that the team have created to speak to different students. At this period the whole country has been asked to stay at home and one can only imagine how isolating this must be for the Nepalese students, many of whom are recent arrivals to the country – figuring out the new environment.
The team are processing and keeping in touch with over 300 students through the helpline and one to one service. Bishnu highlighted that many students are progressing from green status to amber status and the amber status students to red status. With the lockdown status unknown, there are worries regarding the financial sustainability of the program over the coming days. It is expected that more students will move to red status, requiring further food and financial assistance.
The Merging NepSocs committee have also been supporting the international students by creating and offering hardship letter templates and providing further guidance on rent and accommodation. The young Nepalese adults shared candidly that the Embassy of Nepal have supported by opening their network and connecting the youth-led group to Nepalese community groups. A viewer asked if the embassy (who delegated this responsibility to Merging NepSocs) had made any support financially to the groups initiative to which the Merging NepSocs reps politely replied that there hadn’t been any financial contribution till date.
Seeing efforts by individual Nepalese people who create collectives to take action on matters that one would presume would be the responsibility of the state is truly exceptional! I am amazed once again to see how effectively this team is working. I only wish that the Government of Nepal… the Embassy of Nepal would go the extra mile and actively use their network to support financially OR for the Embassy/the Ambassador donate towards the fund.
I recently read a headline where a number of Nepalese Ambassadors made news for donating their monthly salary towards the PM’s Fund in Nepal. Great – but how about doing something like that for a response fund right here? I am unsure if Ambassador Dr Subedi was on that list but it’d be great to see active contribution from the ambassador and his team.
Sadly – Nepalese people – at home or abroad – have always been left to look after themselves and for their country folks. We’ve seen that and continue to see that visibly thanks to social media. The Covid-19 initiative by Merging NepSocs has been a success so far thanks to the kindness of people like you. Please support however you can…