08/07/2020: An update from our Sponsorship coordinator Terri
Whilst we are coming out of lockdown here in the UK, I am sure you have heard about the increasing cases in India, while life in Nepal continues to be very restricted. I wanted to reassure you that we are in close contact with our sponsorship partners and I am happy to report everyone is coping well with these extraordinary times.
The majority of our sponsored children are either with their families or, for those who don’t have family in India or Nepal, in their schools. Just like children in the UK, both teachers and parents/carers are working together to carry on their lessons, albeit in a very different setting. Some are even managing to have remote online lessons.
For the elders, there are regular check ups and carers and staff are taking every measure to keep them safe and well. In the monasteries and nunneries, daily life continues but with extra safeguarding measures in place.
I hope you are also doing well and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support, all the more so during these uncertain times.
We hope you are staying safe and wanted to briefly update you on how the agencies and projects we work with are affected by the ongoing coronavirus situation, as we know you care deeply and may even have a sponsored child or elderly person that you are concerned about.
The situation in India: The Indian authorities have announced a total lockdown to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 after a huge spike in cases. The lockdown will be enforced for at least 21 days. More than 1.8 million people across the country are being monitored because they have shown symptoms of the illness, travelled from abroad or been exposed to confirmed cases. At the time of writing there were 519 confirmed cases and 10 reported deaths.
The situation in Nepal: The Nepali government has imposed a lockdown by completely halting long-distance transportation services, international flights and non-essential services starting from March 23. Nepal has so far reported only two coronavirus cases, the lowest in the South Asian region.
We have received the following updates from the schools our sponsored students attend and the homes that the elders reside in:
Sambhota Tibetan School Society, India: all schools under Sambhota are now closed for summer holiday from 16th March until 5th May 2020
Department of Education, Ngoenga School and Tibetan Children’s Village (all in India) are closed until the end of May
All Tibetan Homes Foundation schools (India) will be closed for two months. They are hoping that their school children will be reporting back on Sunday, May 17, continuing without summer and winter holidays to cover the time missed. THF also provided home assignments for the students who were not due to finish this academic year, as well as taking all precautionary measures for children who don’t have family in India or anywhere to go
Tibetan Women’s Centre, India: Office to remain open, weavers on leave until March 31st when it will be reviewed
Snow Lion Foundation, Nepal: closed from 14th March until further notice
Namgyal Monastic School and Kamrao School, Nepal: closed following local government guidelines
Chushi Gangdruk, India: Committee members have issued guidelines on how to keep safe. Elders at the Old People’s Home have been advised to avoid going to religious gatherings. Monasteries will reduce opening hours and will avoid big religious activities.
Other projects we work with have also sent updates:
Maio Creche, India: School closed until May
Library of Tibetan Works & Archives Creche, India: closed until further notice
Dekyiling settlement, India: all the elders are well and the settlement officer is following guidelines from the Central Tibetan Administration on sanitisation programs
Empowering the Vision Project, India: EVP staff are working from home
Tibetan Ability Centre, India: all work has been suspended due to the lockdown
Bakhang village, Nepal: our health post project in Bakhang is currently going ahead as planned and has not been affected due to the remote location of the village
We hope you find this update helpful – please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.
Thank you for all your compassion and support.