KATHMANDU: Wendy Marston has been awarded with a British Empire Medal by Queen Elizabeth for Marston’s services to burns violence survivors in Nepal, the British Embassy in Kathmandu said today.
Wendy Marston came to Nepal in 1978 and since then has dedicated her life to help burn survivors, many of whom are women and children
Marston is co-founder of the Burns Violence Survivors-Nepal. Marston , came to Nepal 37 years ago and since then has been working tirelessly to help improve the quality and provision of burns care.
In 2008, Marston helped establish Burns Violence Survivors-Nepal (BVS-Nepal), which provides medical treatment, counselling, physiotherapy and nutritional support to burns patients — mostly women and children.
BVS-Nepal also provides recreational activities for the children in the Burns Ward at Kanti Children’s Hospital.
The British Empire Medal is awarded in recognition of meritorious civil or military service by the British Crown and recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters ‘BEM’.
According to the British Embassy, Marston has conducted extensive fundraising and awareness-raising programmes and has been personally involved in the care of many burn patients.
The charity she helped to establish works alongside a range of partner organisations to rehabilitate survivors of burns violence through an integrated and holistic approach, helping survivors live empowered and fulfilling lives with dignity.
Established in 2008, BVS-Nepal helps and supports survivors of burns, resulting from accidents, or violence, such as attempted homicide attacks, normally using kerosene or acid and cases of self immolation and attempted suicide, often stemming from domestic violence.
According to BVS-Nepal, its primary objectives include improving the delivery of burns care in Nepal by establishing a network of hospitals countrywide to provide a collaborated approach to medical treatment, psychosocial care and nutrition targeted at the most vulnerable burns survivors, rehabilitating survivors of burns violence through an integrated/ holistic approach, so that survivors are able to live empowered fulfilling lives with dignity and preventing the occurrence of burns violence in Nepal and to diminish the occurrence of accidental burns. In 2013, BVS-Nepal provided 795 nutrition baskets, helped more than 110 patients receive daily counselling, ensured 82 survivors received physiotherapy and funded plastic and reconstructive surgery to 65 severely burned patients, according to the statement.
BVS-Nepal is working in 12 hospitals across Nepal. With approximately 56,000 people suffering burn injuries every year in Nepal, and only some 20 plastic surgeons for a population of 27 million, there remains much to do, according to BVS-Nepal.
According to BVS-Nepal website, its core ehots is that of partnership, so as to strengthen solidarity among partners to overcome challenges and obstacles, whilst sharing best practice, expertise and experience.
It works in partnership with and collaborates with an established network of partners in Kathmandu, Bara and Banke districts in the Tarai to implement it programmes. Partners include, the government, institutional donors (UN Women, DFID), INGO’s (Acid Survivors Trust International) and local NGO’s (Saathi, Forum for Women, Law and Development, Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre , Shakti Samuha, Awaaj, CAPNepal, Pairavi Nepal Kapilbastu, Handicraft International).