The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
Delivering Aid and Ensuring Education in Nepal
May 11, 2015
UUSC supporters have generously stepped forward with more than $160,000 in donations to the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund for relief and recovery efforts. Within hours of the initial earthquake tremors, UUSC assessed the humanitarian situation on the ground and has since developed partnerships with two local grassroots organizations that are working to provide relief in the affected areas.
What these two partners — Chetana and Tewa — have in common is that, together with UUSC, they aim to serve people who are most traditionally ignored in relief efforts and those who may be particularly at risk given the political, social, and cultural context. In Nepal, this means a focus on women, girls, children from castes that are discriminated against, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people.
In addition to working with the partners below, UUSC will pursue additional recovery work as we continue to monitor the situation and needs on the ground. Our focus is both on immediate relief needs and on addressing long-term recovery and sustainability.
Chetana: ensuring education for all students
Chetana, a teacher-run organization near the earthquake’s epicenter, focuses on creating a friendly and enabling school environment for LGBTI students, girls, and children who are discriminated against based on their caste. They will provide relief in the Gorkha, Lamjung, and Tanahu districts for these children who are now facing the loss of their schools that have been destroyed by the earthquake. Chetana is undertaking the following with UUSC’s support:
- Distributing relief aid kits, including medicine, solar lamps, and shelter supplies
- Setting up temporary classrooms with blackboards, chalk, pens, pencils, and notebooks
- Providing at least one midday meal for displaced junior high students
- Creating a temporary school classroom that will serve at least 150 students while the government rebuilds local schools
Tewa: delivering aid to displaced women
Established in 1995 as the first women’s fund in Asia, Tewa provides funding to women’s organizations in rural Nepal to pursue gender-based social justice programs and facilitate the sustainability of women’s groups. Headquartered in Lalitpur, Tewa is already actively providing relief for pregnant women, women in labor, and nursing mothers. Activities Tewa will continue with UUSC support include the following:
- Providing prenatal and postnatal care to displaced women who are not getting adequate help or help at all
- Working in makeshift camps in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur, directing women where they should go, distributing clothing and food, and providing shelter from the rain
- Assessing the situation in temporary camps and starting a campaign on health and hygiene awareness to stem the dangers of unsanitary conditions
- Distributing water purifiers, masks, and tents
- Supporting a local maternity hospital in great need
If you would like to support these efforts and other UUSC-affiliated recovery work in Nepal, please donate to the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund at uusc.org/nepal-fund.