Floods Do Not Wash Away Hopes

Author Portrait_Rubina Raut, Sponsorship Program Officer
Rubina-Raut

Sponsorship Program Officer

Save the Children in Nepal-Bhutan

January 8, 2018

The August rains this year in Nepal proved to be one of the harshest the country has seen in years.

The day started just like any other day in Saptari, one of the sponsorship supported areas in the eastern region of Nepal – bright and sunny. But then, the sky was engulfed with dark clouds and wind, signs of approaching rain. The weather forecast warned of heavy rainfall. However, many, including me, went home in the evening with little thought about the impending damage. The rain got worse as the day went on.

A little before dawn, people chattering woke me up. Everyone, young and old, was wide awake. The water leaking through the closed doors was pooling inside my house, and my neighbor’s houses. As we waited for the relief of daybreak, we piled up furniture to achieve some higher ground for our valuables.

As the light broke through, my hometown was looking more like a deep pond. The magnitude of destruction was immeasurable.

Children in Saptari taking refuge in temporary shelters while their homes are submerged in flood waters.
Children in Saptari taking refuge in temporary shelters while their homes are submerged in flood waters.

The flood washed away homes, belongings and crops as well, damaging families’ livelihoods that were meant to last them throughout the year, in a series of continuous downpours. Homes, schools, hospitals and health posts were partially submerged in water. Everyone was searching for high elevation to take refuge. Families brought along with themselves anything they could save – most clutched their precious goats and cattle, their only source of livelihood left. It was really disheartening to see people, especially young carefree children, not having access to clean drinking water during this crisis.

Despite the damage, some of the children still seemed sunny and upbeat, as they swam and played, trying to fish in the new pools of flooded water.

Save the Children helped distribute tarps to around 1,000 affected households, to ensure families have a shelter above them, and shared over 800 hygiene kits – containing items like soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, water purifiers, underwear and towels. Our goal was to ensure children could remain safe from preventable diseases, the prevalence of which rises dramatically during such natural disasters, because water can become contaminated easily.

Floods consuming a small village.
Floods consuming a small village.

Children, among others, are more at risk in disasters like these. Physical as well as psychological shelter is an urgent need for children during emergencies. In addition to health kits and support in finding shelters, almost 500 children were provided student kits including learning materials like books and notebooks, replacing lost school supplies as the flood in Saptari gradually dries up.

Without sponsorship, none of this relief would have been possible. From my neighbors and I, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Do you have a family plan for when emergencies strike? Being prepared and organized goes a long way in times of crises. How does your family weather big storms?

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Why You’d Want This Job

Karisten Strong Karisten Strong, Sponsorship Marketing Associate 

Westport, CT

Friday, November 12, 2010  


 

Every Save the Children child sponsor enjoys a special connection to children in need.  If you sponsor a child in Nepal, you also have a direct connection to Seema Baral, whose passion for children is sure to inspire.

Seema, our Sponsorship Manager in Nepal and Bhutan, has one of the most enviable jobs in the entire agency. Every day, she sees first-hand the impact that you and every Nepal sponsor make in children’s lives.


Seema (1)

On a recent trip to one of Nepal’s poorest communities, Seema was on hand for the opening of a new school building that was funded by our Nepal sponsors.

“Everyone was so pleased with the new learning space, and I was so happy thinking of sponsors like you, who’ve joined hands with people here in Nepal to make positive changes in their communities.”

Seema is especially grateful for your sponsorship because education and equality can help children achieve their dreams—something she has sought to do even before joining Save the Children in 1997.

After graduating from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, Seema began volunteering her time assisting displaced women and children in the town of Siraha. 

The women and children were considered “untouchable” by the community merely because of their families’ past economic circumstances, and they struggled mightily to overcome discrimination at every turn.

What struck Seema was that instead of faltering in the face of such adversity, the children remained hopeful: they dreamed of being teachers, policemen, mothers and fathers just like other children. It was then Seema knew her calling. She sought equality for all children; she wanted every child to have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. She has been working to accomplish that goal ever since. 

Seema sees a long and successful future ahead for Save the Children Nepal, thanks to the loyal support of sponsors like you. With your support she and her team will continue working to bring Save the Children’s mission of creating lasting positive changes in the lives of children to life.