A community meeting in action
“I finished rebuilding my house’s foundation, but I’ve been waiting a very long time for an engineer to inspect it so I can qualify for a government grant,” Kabiraj told a Citizen Helpdesk Community Frontline Associate (CFA). He’s been without a home for nearly two years now in the village of Dhading in the Nalang District, because he hasn't been able to access the inspection services that would allow him to receive the promised funds for rebuilding. Sunita, a woman single woman from Irkhu Sindhupalchowk, faced similar obstacles when she was not issued a citizenship card, leaving her completely unable to access government relief funds.
It is precisely these kinds of gaps between citizens, officials, and public service providers that makes Citizen Helpdesk so necessary – and why we’re working harder than ever now to expand its scope. Beyond community meetings, our radio program Sabal Samydaya has been an effective tool for reaching wider audiences, who can listen to broadcasts of the meetings and call in with their own questions. We are also excited to announce the recent launch of the Citizen Helpdesk Bulletin, a monthly newsletter filled with real citizen concerns, solutions, and contact information for the appropriate government bodies. We distribute hard copies of the bulletin and also share it on our website. This expansion is shaping the Helpdesk as a platform that can address other community concerns, such as resource shortages, women’s programming and, in particular, labor migration. Our Community Perception Surveys revealed that labor migrants are one of the most vulnerable groups, and we believe that the Helpdesk can address one of the primary causes of this vulnerability: a the lack of information.
After months of waiting for an engineer, Kabiraj’s issue was addressed directly by an engineer who he met at a Helpdesk community meeting. Sunita found her solution as well after a CFA advocated for her with the Chief District Officer, finally securing her citizenship card and allowing her to receive the first installment of the government funding. Bringing together all of the stakeholders makes a tremendous difference in the lives of the people in these districts. It’s thanks to your generous support that we have been able to expand the Helpdesk and broaden its impact for not only earthquake survivors, but women, youth, and labor migrants. Keep an eye on the Facebook page to see the for yourself the results of your contributions for Sunita, Kabiraj, and so many more. Furthermore, if you're interested if seeing the Mobile Citizen Helpdesk's impact in person, considering joining us for a Social Impact Tour of Nepal in April!
Our Community Frontline Associates helping Sunita
Sunita with her new citizenship card