Dear Friends and Supporters,
In Australia, we are beginning to see some welcome relief from the discomforts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not yet free from the dangers of infectious spread or new strains of the virus, and it may take a long time for many Australians to fully recover, but the outlook certainly appears more favourable than it has done for much of the year.
Meanwhile, Nepal continues its own battle with the virus. According to reports, there are currently around 250 new positive cases each day and the COVID-related death toll now stands at over 11,500. The vaccination rate continues to improve, currently estimated at around 30%, but the overall situation remains alarming. The direct effects of the virus on life are frightening and the secondary effects on trade, tourism, employment and the supply of essential food and supplies continue to create additional levels of hardship. As always, the poor and disadvantaged are particularly vulnerable.
Despite the difficulties posed by the virus here in Australia this year, NAFA has continued to raise awareness of our ongoing programs in Nepal. We have remained focussed on our fundraising goals but, unfortunately, we have had to manage without some of our regular activities. Most notably, we have not been able to hold our Annual Fundraising Dinner for the past two years and our market stall revenue has been greatly reduced. Nevertheless, with the benefit of some focussed fundraising activities and the dedicated ongoing support of our regular donors, we are delighted to report that we are on-track with most of our programs.
Unfortunately, as we approach the end of the NAFA Financial Year, a number of our annually-sponsored programs remain underfunded. The implication is that, if we cannot raise additional funds before the end of December, we will start the new year behind target and potentially have a shortfall in our capacity to fund these programs in 2022. We are currently about $6,500 underfunded across some of our ongoing childcare and health program commitments. We need to raise funds now to support the provision of childcare at the Carpet Factory Creche in Thimi, which not only ensures a safe environment for the care of young children but also releases parents to work and provide an income for their families. Healthcare initiatives that need additional funding include the provision of help for the hard of hearing through ‘Himalayan Health and Hearing’ and the ‘Nepal Association of Hard of Hearing’. We also need additional funds to support the recovery of eyesight in the aged through eye-care clinics at the Tilganga Cataract Surgery Eye Camps.
At this festive time of year many people ask how they might make a financial donation that will directly benefit the life of someone less fortunate than themselves. For those who find the magic of Christmas in the act of giving, and thereby easing the burden or brightening the lives of others, we would like to remind you how you can do so through NAFA.
Any donation, large or small, will be gratefully received but as a guide to the enormous impact that a generous gift can make:
- $235 will provide 12 months of childcare for parents seeking to work and so keep their family out of poverty.
- $200 can restore the eyesight of 10 villagers through cataract surgery.
- $150 can provide ear care and the fitting of a hearing aid for 5 villagers experiencing hearing loss.
Remember that 100% of donations go to NAFA-supported programs and projects in Nepal, a promise we can keep as a small volunteer-run organisation with no paid staff or office expenses. Donations are tax-deductible.
There is information on all the work done by NAFA on this website, but for your convenience please note the following links to our Donations pages:
With much appreciation to all our supporters and our thanks for your generous support throughout the year.
Wishing you and your families a very safe and joyous festive season.