Widows must not be forgotten in relief aid

Mission East works on helping the most vulnerable groups in society. Ujjali aged 84 is one of them.

Mission East distributes relief aid in nine villages northeast of Kathmandu and makes sure that the most vulnerable groups in society – e.g. elderly and people with disabilities – get tarpaulins and hygiene kits to withstand cold weather, rain and infectious diseases.

“In emergencies like this, the most vulnerable groups such as the elderly, people with disabilities, minorities and Dalit people are often overlooked in the relief work, although they have the greatest needs,” Bandana Shrestha, Mission East’s Inclusion and Protection Coordinator, explains. At the moment she is working on making Mission East’s relief effort in Nepal take these issues into account. Monday she participated in one of Mission East’s relief aid distributions in the Sindhupalchowk District.  One of the people she met was the old woman Ujjali, aged 84, who lives alone after her husband’s death and survives by begging from the other residents in the village. The earthquake destroyed her house and when Mission East came to her village, she turned to the staff to ask for help. Bandana Shrestha made sure that Ujjali and the village’s two other elderly single women was first in line at the distribution and that they got help bringing it home.

“After we highlighted the problem, local volunteers made sure that Ujjali and the other elderly women living alone got help carrying their tarpaulins, rope and hygiene kits. I followed Ujjali home and made sure that the neighbours would help her to put the tarpaulin up,” Bandana Shrestha tells.

"Ujjali was so happy about the help she got." 

Mission East provides shelter and basic relief items for approximately 7,000 families – more than 30,000 persons – in nine mountain villages northeast of Kathmandu.