This three months has been a challenging time for Mondo, as it has for so many charities, and we thank you for standing by us. While many of our staff and beneficiaries have been in lock down, we have tried to keep our essential activities going as the need in all our recipient countries is greater than ever. Our staff in India, Tanzania and Nepal have shown their dedication and ability to adapt as the situation changes day by day, and much fantastic work has continued. We also continue to plan how we can get back to work at full pace once the Covid situation allows.
Teaching during Lockdown, Nepal
Nepal has been in lock down since the end of March and all our schools closed. The economic consequences have been devastating with 60% of those working for small and medium sized industries losing their jobs. In the Helambu area, the loss of income formerly received from family members working in cities or overseas, has put a great burden on Mondo’s communities. In this situation we are determined to keep our projects going, ensuring children do not miss out on the educational opportunities that will give them a brighter future.
Our Saathi teachers, are locked down at home but are still working hard. They have launched a project to provide video and radio lessons to the children at home. You can watch them on youtube introducing their online school.
The final school leaving exams have been cancelled this year so HELP have launched an essay competition to give school graduates a platform to show their skills and help us select candidates for Mondo supported scholarships. These will be given out later in the year and help around 40, 16 year olds to continue their studies for another two years.
Finally, in the last few weeks, lock down rules have been eased and we have been able to start work on building a new community learning centre in Melchour. This will provide a space for adult literacy and health education as well a kindergarten for the village.
Food security in Tanzania
The lock down in Tanzania has been less stringent, schools have now reopened and through the last months businesses have remained open as usual. There is no reliable data on the effect this policy is having on the spread of Covid, and we remain concerned for the health of all our staff and beneficiaries. However, our teams in Arusha and Moshi have worked tirelessly to keep our women’s grant project going, while ensuring social distancing in our training and support. In the last few months we have particularly focused on helping women start agricultural businesses: for example, in May we provided grants and training to 10 women in Masaranga to start rice farming. We want to make sure the most vulnerable families can make the most of the recent rainy season and ensure food security in the months to come.
Thank you to all who have supported our justgiving campaign https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/MondoTanzania
All donations will be used to ensure more of these hardworking women can support their families through this crisis.
Learning from home, NE India
Mondo supported schools in India have also been in lock down since late March. The teachers here have shown great flexibility and made a tremendous effort to keep education going at home. One headteacher writes ‘ We arranged online classes right after lock down happened, continually giving work and checking students’ answers using whatsapp. Now we are making video lessons to correspond with each chapter in the textbook and uploading them on YouTube. We have made a daily routine, three subjects per day, and we are circulating the lesson notes by phone.’
Despite the hard work involved in this, most teachers are not being paid during this crisis. Mondo is looking at ways to support them over the coming months.
We know this is a difficult time for our supporters, and that you are probably being asked by many charities for help. However, if you can spare any funds please do donate to Mondo. We are currently looking for funding to support our teachers in Nepal and India, and for scholarships for our school leavers in Nepal.
Best wishes and stay well,
Anna, Anthony and all the Mondo Team