Tibet Matters Annual Review: Penpa’s Covid-19 relief work

The devastating second wave of Covid-19 in India and Nepal left both countries overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis. Luckily, thanks to the tireless efforts of Tenzin and Penpa and your swift and generous response to our appeals, we were able to react immediately to emerging needs in the Tibetan exile community.

Penpa (right) preparing emergency food parcels

Many Tibetans in Nepal work in hospitality and tourism or do seasonal work, all of which came to a halt during lockdown.

Your donations enabled us to provide food parcels and rent to 800 of the most vulnerable Tibetans who were struggling. Penpa says “Those days were very hard, people were scared and didn’t know how long it would last landlords were not giving any discount so our help was really important.” Thanks to you, some households could also repair essential household items like water boilers. “That was a nice feeling, that we not only looked after the household but improved things for them.”

A thank you letter we received

During lockdown all flights within Nepal were cancelled. Young Tibetans studying in Kathmandu were stranded, unable to return to their villages and families. Your donations supported their rent during this lonely and difficult time. Penpa received letters of thanks from many of these students: “They felt that it was wonderful for them.”

Penpa is now working with a Covid-19 response team in Kathmandu, coordinating with other NGOs to provide virtual medical consultations, source supplies and find hospital beds for those who are seriously ill.

Communities need other forms of support too – things like internet and data costs for students who can’t go to school, rent and food are all essential and we are covering these costs for many Tibetans in Nepal, with Penpa’s help.

You can still donate to the current appeal for Nepal here

Emergency food relief, Pokhara, Nepal

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