Caritas reaches out

KATHMANDU: When earthquake hit Chandeni Mandan, Caritas Nepal was one of the helping hands who offered assistance to them. Caritas Nepal, which is a humanitarian non-profit organisation, provided food supplies like rice, daal, oil to emergency shelter items like tarpaulin to temporary shelter items like corrugated iron sheets to the locals there.

Caritas Nepal has been active in earthquake relief work since day one. It started with distributing tarpaulins in the nearby areas of Lalitpur. More than three months since the quake, it has reached out to the country’s remotest communities.

As per Caritas Nepal, they have reached out to that 68,328 households in places like Gorkha, Lamjung, Dhadhing, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Makawanpur, Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Okhaldunga and some parts of Kathmandu Valley with humanitarian assistance, including hygiene kits containing aqua tabs, soap, washing detergent, toothbrushes and toothpaste and cash of Rs 15,000 to some families.

More than 40 National Caritas is supporting this Nepal earthquake response and rehabilitation of livelihoods in the post-disaster situation through Nepal Caritas. And 30 aid workers from 19 Country Caritas including Michel Roy, Caritas General Secretary from Rome, came to monitor the works here in Kavre, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk.

Jamie Davies, Head of International Programs, Caritas Australia was one of them. She visited Chandeni Mandan. “Even when people suffer so much and lose so many things, they are still so incredible generous, welcoming and sharing their stories and offering their fruits and what little they have and include you even when they have never met you before,” she shared of her experience.

However, she also observed that, “People are still struggling. There is a long way to go and to get back on their feet. You can still see the trauma and fear from the consecutive quakes. They want to build back permanent shelters and their concerns are also about the ongoing tremors.”

When it comes to relief work being carried out by Caritas Nepal, she shares that people from the outside can provide some financial and technical assistance but “the reason this is working is because of the strong network and accompaniment of Caritas Nepal and staff”.

She believes that for relief work to be effective, there needs to be a long-term accompaniment of the people and you really need to have local leadership. If you have strong local leadership, you can have effective response and recovery programme.

Meanwhile, Roy who likes to meet people at the grass-root level shares, “Caritas Nepal is a humanitarian organisation. It is not an emergency response organisation but a development organisation which is acting when people are suffering. So there would be welfare programmes for people who are handicapped, emergency programmes but our focus is on people’s and community’s development.” As Caritas Nepal will be helping earthquake victims in reconstruction and recovery.