COVID-19  India Project #46130

Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal

by Karuna Trust
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Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal
Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal
Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal
Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal
Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal
Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal
Coronavirus: Rebuild Lives in India and Nepal

In the most poverty-affected areas, the pandemic often struck the hardest – areas like rural Nepal. 

During the lockdown, all schools in Nepal were closed, bringing a halt to our work to increase girls’ education among the most vulnerable communities. 

Fortunately, this delay didn’t last long; our partners were able to act quickly so that students didn’t miss out. Around 62 episodes of educational radio teachings were broadcast from three local FM stations, with over 650 radio sets provided to students who were unable to afford a radio at their homes. Likewise, 150 online classes were transmitted from two local TV channels.  

Alongside this, the schools that the project works with were trained on how to minimise coronavirus transmission. This included establishing hand-washing stations and supplying sanitisers, facemasks and cleaning materials. 

However, once schools reopened, families still struggled due to the lockdowns. Many girls were pulled from school to work alongside family members to earn extra income just to survive. 

This issue highlighted just how important awareness-raising in support groups was in our project’s work. We were able hold almost 250 meetings with mothers from the community, addressing the importance of girls’ education and the negative impact child marriage can have on progressing women’s rights. 

Overall, thanks to this incredible project, we have not only reversed the drop-outrate but have seen an increase in both girls’ attendance at school and their retention rates 

Thank you for your support in making this possible. 


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During the covid-19 crisis, decades of work towards gender equality was completely unravelling.  50% of all women lost their job during the multiple lockdowns andwith school closures, 10 million girls were unable to attend school and domestic violence was increasing by the day 

The collective trauma and effects of covid is ongoing-especially amongst women. Due to the stress of the covid-19 crisis, domestic violence is still on the rise and mass shortages of food resulted in women, belonging to certain areas, reporting to be extremely malnourished, especially mothers.In the particularlyeffected households, they are at an increased risk of being trafficked for economic, sexual work or bonded labour. 

In response to this, our partners carried out surveys, to identify the most vulnerable households and areas. Then began delivering nutrition dense packages to 1,500 families. Livelihood support has also been prioritised for women who are barely surviving because of the pandemic. After several surveys, two sustainable areas were identified: tailoring/textiles and food processing.Training facilities and courseshave been set up to provide courses on tailoring and sewing. There is a strong local demand for ready made garments and masks as an essential, which they can address 

Another focus of this project was to tackle violence against women.It encourages women to learn their rights and empowers them how to identify, address and tackle such issues at a community level. This started with training on understanding the cycle of violence, how to identify signs and symptoms, associated causes, consequences, legal measures, andunderstanding difficulties that women face during reporting. Moreover, how to address this at a community level, involving men. 

“It is normal that girls in our community are not sent to schools after their basic schooling. The same happened with me and I got married at a very early age. But after this session on ‘Asserting against Violence’, I understand the value of education and what difference it can make in one’s life. Also, how important it is for a woman to raise her voice against gender discrimination.” – Feedback from a participant.  


We hope you have enjoyed reading the incredible and vital work that is being carried out, which your help is going towards. The aftermath of Covid is still very much here, and we will continue to serve the communities that need this support to repair, heal and thrive. 



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This is an update to firstly thank you for your generosity, and outline just how much it has helped us to continue our support, to those who have been deeply affected by the Covid-19 Crisis.

In 2021, Karuna made emergency grants to 35 partner organizations enabling them to respond to the most urgent needs from the most vulnerable communities.

Grants were used to provide vital food and medical supplies directly to an estimated 120,000 people from Covid affected families. Our partners with their already well-established networks among the most disadvantaged communities were able to make sure that the aid reached those in most acute need.

 Many more people benefitted from this emergency work. One of our partners provided PPE equipment to 300 frontline medical workers who in turn provided medical care to 300,000 people from Covid affected rural communities .They ran awareness camps to encourage and support people from marginalised communities to access medical treatment and prevention.

Another partner ran a helpline service to help unemployed manual labourers access desperately needed government welfare schemes, and was able to extend this support to 98,000 migrant labourers , helping an astonishing 490,000 family members!

Now, we are looking  to support people in repairing their lives that was completely shattered by the impact of Covid-19. Your help allowed us to raise vital funds in 2020-21 and mid-way through 2022 they are still as important and urgent as ever. 

Our core focuses are Education for all, Dignified Livelihoods and Gender Equality.

This is at the heart of our charity but also at the centre of this project, as we adapt to the changing landscape of the pandemic and how best to improve the lives of those who need it most. 

Thank you.


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One of the worst effects of the pandemic has been the increase in violence against women. How can we respond in a way that has an impact in daily life? Using their village level networks of girls and women, one of our partners created an initiative to create an impact in the life of women and girls in their village. It’s called ‘the Shout Out campaign’.


When a woman or a girl is being subjected to abuse or harassment, or witnesses abuse or something suspicious, she starts to shout, and the next woman who hears that will know that violence is happening somewhere in the village and starts doing the same, until more and more women start shouting; they gather and go to the house where the incident is taking place.


Strength and safety comes from the number of women involved. This photo was taken in real time by one of the girl leaders, showing the campaign in action.


The campaign provides a safety net for women- they know they are supported and it signals to perpetrators that the victim of violence is not alone, that there is a support system in place. It also serves to send out a message to the rest of the community that acts of violence will not be tolerated.


This campaign has been incredibly successful, and not only as a response to domestic violence, but also to the rising cases of girls trafficking , early marriage and rape cases.


Thank you for your support, which goes directly to initiatives such as this Shout Out campaign. 

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to be unpredictable across the world. The major effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been the Shadow Pandemic. Named by the UN, it recognises the widening gender inequality and increasing poverty due to the pandemic. 10 million girls are at risk of dropping out of school- with trafficking and child marriage rates skyrocketing due to increased financial strain.

The need during the pandemic is not lessening, just changing. We are ready to meet the changing needs at this stage of the pandemic and to support marginalised communities who otherwise get left behind. 

Your support is helping us to action a 5 point COVID recovery plan to:

  • Prevent school drop-out, especially amongst girls
  • Rebuild livelihoods devastated by the pandemic
  • Working with migrant labourers to help them access their rights
  • Continuing and intensifying our work to end violence against women
  • Continuing to be vigilant with the possibility of coronavirus resurgence in the region and to support preventative measures such as vaccination programmes

Regular support to this work is invaluable, as medium to long-term recovery is fragile and requires commitment.

Thank you for continuing to support us through these times.

Father and toddler
Father and toddler
Breaking stones
Breaking stones
Children in slum area
Children in slum area
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Organization Information

Karuna Trust

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @karuna_trust_uk
Project Leader:
Suddhaka Clark
London, England United Kingdom
$53,253 raised of $68,138 goal
719 donations
$14,885 to go
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