Maiti Nepal’s Response to COVID’19.
Maiti Nepal has been fighting human trafficking to protect Nepali girls and women from crimes like domestic violence, trafficking for flesh trade, child prostitution, and other forms of exploitation for almost 28 years. However, the novel coronavirus of 2019 brought about a severe respiratory disease named COVID’19 that has brought the whole world to a standstill. Our country Nepal too was not spared from this disease causing the government to impose a nationwide lockdown and halt all activities apart from essentials. This lockdown hindered Maiti Nepal’s activities albeit operations have not been fully shut down.
Maiti Nepal is a family of more than 176 staffs dedicated to this cause. Even though the lockdown was imposed from 24th March 2020, we have continued to provide regular services to more than 400 girls, women, and children in the shelter homes in Kathmandu. This support was not limited to just inside the shelter homes, but even outside these premises where more than 100 girls and women who once were sheltered by Maiti Nepal are living independently.
These are the activities conducted by Maiti Nepal during the on and off lockdown imposed all around Nepal. Maiti Nepal family would like to heartily thank each and everyone who have contributed one way or the other during these trying times.
Legal and Psychosocial Counseling Service
These services were initiated keeping in mind the mental trauma that any female might go through during lockdown. It was expected that cases of domestic violence, rape and many other crimes against women and children may increase with people forced to stay indoors, which is why these services were initiated to counsel people remotely through telephone all over the nation. We were able to provide support to more than 420 girls and women during the first lockdown. These services will be continued even after normal life resumes.
Community Kitchen Program
Maiti Nepal, with the support of UN Women, started a women-led community kitchen program & distributed more than 28000 packs of nutritious food to more than 20,000 girls, women and children from marginalized families living in Banke and Kanchanpur districts of Western Nepal.
The campaign started as a relief program to feed nutritious food to women and children at least once a day during the lockdown period and continued for 56 days straight. In order to raise awareness regarding COVID’19 and help protect these people from the same, masks and sanitizers were also distributed to them.
Dignity Kit Distribution at Bardiya District
Maiti Nepal in collaboration with Gulariya municipality, distributed dignity kits which included sanitizer, mask, shampoo, soap, innerwear, sanitary napkins, slippers, and food items to 50 women and 15 children at Kotahi Secondary School (the only female quarantine center currently in Nepal).
Rescue of 21 Nepali Girls from India
Maiti Nepal, in coordination with the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen and Anti-Human Trafficking Investigation Bureau, and Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi, India, rescued 21 women from the Indian state of Manipur, near the border of Myanmar after more than 9 months of continued efforts.
These women were travelling to various destinations in the middle east like Oman and Dubai taking illegal routes via India and Myanmar for foreign employment. They are being quarantined at the shelter homes operated by Maiti Nepal and later will be reintegrated to their families as far as possible.
Quarantine center and emergency services
36 women and girls aged from 12 to 50 years accommodated in the quarantine center established by Maiti Nepal in Kathmandu. They were the survivor of rape, domestic violence (accompanied by their children) and some from below the poverty line. Nutritional food and essential safety kits were provided along with psychosocial counseling and recreational and therapeutic services.
We are also happy to announce that 4 pregnant women successfully delivered healthy babies at Maiti Nepal during the lockdown period!