Teachers go from house to house
Nov 16, 2020
The coronavirus has also hit Nepal, where the WACKER Relief Fund supports schools. Over 90 percent of cases are registered in the Kathmandu valley. Many people are struggling to make ends meet following the lengthy lockdown. Everyday life in region around the mountain village Gati has been seriously affected. In-person schooling with students wearing masks and adhering to social distancing protocols was abandoned as the pandemic once again forced schools to close.
The WACKER Relief Fund has not forgotten the people of Nepal. Its support has helped to rebuild and keep schools running since the severe earthquakes in 2015. To do so, it cooperates with the Namasté Nepal S-GmbH student-run company at Freiberg’s Geschwister-Scholl High School in Germany. Project coordinator Steffen Judersleben maintains constant contact with partners in Nepal. “Everyone has become more cautious and afraid of catching the virus from people coming from the city or other villages,” he reports. Nevertheless, the fall has seen many traveling to celebrate the traditional Dashain festival with their families, which could lead to a spike in infections in rural areas.
One advantage in Nepal is the very young population and the correspondingly low COVID-19 mortality rate. However, hospitals are scarce, test capacities are inadequate and there are far too few intensive-care beds and ventilators. The number of unreported corona cases is high. The local municipality for Namasté Nepal’s partner villages was temporarily closed because of corona. Schools also had to close their doors.
Though some schools were open during the summer. Classes alternated in-person lessons with stringent hygiene rules in place. Students are given work to do at home while schools are closed. Remote learning online is not possible because there’s no infrastructure. Teachers actually go from house to house to help with assignments – wearing masks and keeping a safe distance.
“Exams were held in the summer, despite the pandemic. All our young students passed,” notes Steffen Judersleben, visibly proud of the Namasté Nepal protégés.
The village community runs a number of projects at the newly founded Gati Youth Club. The young members repaired the path from Gati to the Tungtung Mahadev shrine, planted coffee seedlings, organized aid after a landslide opposite Gati, collected donations and helped with building work around the Gati school premises and at its sports facility.
The traditional Freiberg fund raising marathon will be an online event this year. Participants have until December 31, 2020 to sign up for the virtual Nepal marathon at www.nepallauf.de. The student company Namasté Nepal welcomes each and everyone taking part in their debut online marathon.
Roughly 4,650 employees currently participate in the WACKER Relief Fund’s cent-donation program. Their support is keeping the schools up and running. With minimal amounts, each employee in Germany can help the fund provide sustainable support in the years ahead. How does it work? Employees agree to have their monthly salaries rounded down to the nearest euro. The difference in cents is then donated to WACKER HILFSFONDS. Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mirko Kappelhoff, explains: We have only managed to finance the running costs of our school projects with the help of our cent-donation program. Thanks to every colleague who has helped pave the way to a brighter future for these children through education.”
If you’d like to help, please donate to the following WACKER Relief Fund account with Bayerische Landesbank München:
IBAN DE59 7005 0000 0003 3333 33
Please state your name and address on the payment transfer form (in Germany, your WACKER ID number is enough). The relief fund issues donation receipts to employees residing in Germany, as the donations are tax-deductible there. The WACKER Relief Fund says a big thank you for every donation. Receipts are sent out in the first quarter of the year.