Helping the helpless during lockdown
Deepak Chapagain from Volunteer Corps Nepal points out that many average Nepalis he encounters do not trust any level of government. They feel that those who lack access to political parties will be shut out of official relief distribution.
VCN includes more than 3,000 trained local volunteers and a wider network of 8,000-plus people in 77 districts. It was on the ground in pre-lockdown days in Kathmandu, mooting the idea for traffic police to hold up small signs displaying Covid-19 information. Since then VCN has provided food to more than 5,000 people in Kathmandu Valley and to others leaving on foot.
The organisation raised more than $2,000 from online sales of the recent release from UK-based singer Yuval Gurung, who was in Nepal when the lockdown started, but it is not enough, Chapagain says. “Things will get worse in the days ahead and even government and international organisations are not responding on the ground, so we volunteer organisations have to be more active.”