A bag full of joy

Nepalilainen koulutyttö koulupuvussa pitää kädessään värikästä oppikirjaa.

27,746 Nepalese children received a distance learning package from Fida when the schools closed for a long time. In Nepal, which is suffering from the corona crisis, it is not known when children will be able to return to school.

A distance learning book, notebook, pencils, sharpener, and eraser. The children open the orange cloth bags they received in the yard of a village school in southern Nepal. The bag also includes a biscuit package and hand soap – as a reminder of the importance of hand washing. Schools have been closed for a long time, but in Nepal corona lockdown, no one knows when to kids can get back to class again. Many families are financially worse off than before, which often means dropping out of school.

When the corona pandemic lockdown started in Nepal in March 2020, Fida, along with local partners, thought of how to respond to a situation when children’s right to school is compromised for a long time. The Nepalese Ministry of Education produced a printable textbook for distance learning on their website, but remote schooling was impossible to implement. Few schools, let alone students, have computers, or smart devices. The Ministry of Education also asked organizations for help to organize distance learning.

Fida responded to the request. Together with local partners, it was decided to print schoolbooks and distribute them to the children along with school supplies. This would motivate children to continue schooling and give them learning activities during the corona curfew.

The package was received by all schoolchildren in Fida’s work areas: a total of 27,746 children and young people. The number of students was counted together with the municipalities and schools, and a division of labor was agreed upon. Within a few weeks, the packages were delivered to even the most remote work areas.

The joy was great when the kids arrived to pick up their own packages from the school yard! Many students reported that they had been worried about the progress of their studies. Schools and local government also received praise for supporting students during this difficult time.

Corona is exploding in Nepal

The corona situation eased briefly in Nepal in the spring of 2021 and Fida’s partner schools were able to open for about four months. With the spread of the Indian corona variant to Nepal, the number of corona cases has exploded. Public hospitals are full and there are not enough beds and extra oxygen for all those who need it. Currently, the country is in lockdown and schools are closed again. Fida is monitoring the situation. Currently, students can continue their studies with the distance school package they received, but if needed, we are preparing to print more materials for elementary school-age children in our work areas.

Fida is committed to supporting children’s schooling in Okhaldhunga in the Himalayan mountains as well as the Maitil-speaking areas of southern Nepal. More than 27,500 children study in 80 schools supported by Fida.