Your exclusive update from Nepal.
COVID 19 in Nepal
So far COVID-19 cases in Nepal remain low, thanks in part to the swift and effective actions of its government limiting movement in and out of the country. However, the risk remains high.
Should the worst happen and an outbreak occur in Nepal, the consequences could be devastating given the poorly-equipped healthcare facilities and the lack of medical infrastructure.
The consequences for our Gurkha veterans and widows would be no less severe. With hundreds in their 80s, 90s and even 100+, their age and underlying health conditions would make them particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.
We are keeping abreast of all government directives in-country and ensuring our staff adhere to the guidance provided.
2. I wanted to work and help the Gurkha Veterans by using skills I have learned in the Army.
I am back home where I belong and enjoying my job to the fullest. Helping Gurkha veterans, their dependents and the wider community in so many ways.
What are your favorite things about your role?
To connect with our Gurkha veterans and widows personally. To find out their needs; hear their war time stories and walk alongside them in memory lane. The greatest contentment I feel is whilst witnessing the joy twinkling in their eyes when I go to meet them at home both in the towns and remote villages and assessing what can be done better so they get the best possible help they need so they can live with pride and dignity.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Most of our Gurkha veterans and widows who receive visits are over 80 years-old, mostly homebound, and often very frail. On top of that, 65% of them live in the remote villages of Nepal where there is no road access. It takes days to go to meet them and in the monsoon season it’s very difficult. Landslides are common and can cause delays reaching them which can be serious when delivering essential medication. Since we have a very family-centric culture in Nepal, even if the doctor and Welfare Officer recommends that the veteran or widow needs to move to one of our GWT Residential Homes for better medication and care, in most cases either they or their family members do not accept it. We can only recommend. These are the biggest challenges I am facing every day!
How did you hear about the role?
I knew very well about GWT and its activities and so a year before my retirement from the Army, I searched on the net and wrote an email to asking if there were any job vacancies for Welfare roles. He replied and I did not waste a minute; I applied online and now here I am working and have completed 9 months and yet its feels like I just joined only 9 days ago!
What does working for GWT mean to you?
It is an absolute honour to be part of GWT! I knew very well that GWT is the only organisation who works for the benefit of Gurkha veterans, their dependents and their wider communities. To be honest this is one of the best jobs I have ever worked in my life. I feel so blessed to have been able to make the right decision at the right time to come back to Nepal and work for my heroes.
“They are all my heroes. I salute them.”
Watch: A rallying cry from Joanna Lumley OBE
Joanna is a huge supporter of our cause and was keen to let the team, and our dedicated supporters know that she was thinking of us during this difficult time.Watch Video
A message from HRH The Prince of Wales
We were honoured to receive a letter from our Patron HRH The Prince of Wales wishing the Trust well in these unprecedented times.
A text message to the Gurkhas
Over the last year, staff across our 20 Welfare Centres in Nepal have been ensuring that they have contact details for all of our veterans and widows. Since the pandemic began the team have been able to get a series of messages out to over 12,000 Gurkhas living in Nepal.