Foreign embassies have evacuated most of their nationals stuck in Nepal by the lockdown in the past two months. But with flights from Kathmandu cancelled for at least another month, remaining foreigners have decided to stay on and help Nepalis affected by the lockdown.
As the pandemic raged through Europe, the United States and now Brazil, many travellers who found themselves in Nepal refused to be repatriated, and decided to stay on in Pokhara, Kathmandu, Khumbu and Manang.
One of them is Austrian graphic designer Tom Cisar who has been in Pokhara since late February and has decided stay back even though his ocuntry is easing its restrictions on movement.
A team from Chay Ya Austria and its Nepali branch have been carrying out the Tuesday4Rice campaign to help poor families in Pokhara with essential supplies such as rice, lentils, salt, oil and soap to last them a month. The city has been hit because many have lost their income in the tourism industry.
Feeding 1,000 a day in Kathmandu, Lisa Choegyal
So far 75 families have benefitted from the charity and 31 more are on the waiting list. The team wants to continue with the food distribution every week and donations have been coming in from all over the world, including Austria, Norway, France, Russia, Spain, Italy and Switzerland.
“For just 20 euros we can support one family for a full month and we are grateful for all the help we have received. I only wish we could do this for as long as needed and stay in Nepal longer to help,” adds Cisar who been volunteering with the non-profit Chay Ya since 2014 and spends five months a year in Nepal.