A Volunteer by Heart: We need more volunteers like Rita to cope this crisis

  • Dipendra Lamsal
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Ms. Rita Chauhan (wearing red) coordinating with local government for relief distribution.

Rita Chauhan (25), mother of two lives in Masina of Rupandehi district. Due to the global pandemic, her daily wage work is at halt. However, she is involved in community service coordinating with local government.

Rita is affiliated with Caritas Nepal from 2017 as she participated in PEACH II Volunteer Orientation on Humanitarian Assistance programme followed by 2017 flood response initiatives of CN.

Rita’s village like most of the villages and Cities in Nepal lay silent due to lockdown.The village (district) shares open border with India, maximizing the chances for COVID-19 widespread. Therefore Rita is actively participating in awareness raising and advocacy campaign activities in the village especially targeting the vulnerable areas. Apart from Covid-19, she awares to improve women’s health,  minimize domestic violence, environment degradation and protect child rights. 

People are well aware of Covid-19 and follow social distancing avoiding social activities, still, there are group of people who cannot directly participate in awareness activities like normal people. The group includes pregnant, lactating, people living with disability, elderly and people with abnormal medical condition. Therefore Govt. made special treat for this group; volunteers including Rita made door to door visit, sharing Corona related messages circulated by government relief centers focusing on hygiene and sanitation. 

“I aware and counsel people on social distancing, washing hands and eating healthy food and avoid bad habits. In most of the villages social distancing is a major problem as houses are closely built, they share common taps so it is very important to tell what social distancing is and why is it important in the context of COVID-19.”

During awareness programs and house visit, she focuses on hand washing steps. Most village people wash hands only after defecation and before eating. They use water or water and ashes (easily available) to wash hands and rarely use soap. Therefore, use of soap and seven steps of hand washing was indeed very essential to maintain good hygiene. She also encourages people to consume healthy food, avoid bad habits and to stay away from fake news which distracts them from keeping safe in this pandemic situation.

She is also involved in data collection of migrant workers and in relief distribution. “I am very happy to be a part of the program reaching the most vulnerable people empowering communities through awareness programs, contributing on this global cause”, she shares.

Like Rita, CN has trained 128 volunteers of 8 districts so far through PEACH II project. And among them 40 have been volunteering in COVID-19 response in their respective districts.

This lockdown gave Rita a big opportunity to cater volunteer service coordinating with the local government.

For meeting our objective to create a disaster resilient community, CN is partnering with Caritas Austria and EU Aid Volunteers to empower the youth towards voluntarism. Expanding our humanitarian actions by promoting selfless voluntarism through volunteer management trainings.

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