Letter from the Chair, Dr. Nora Cullen
Despite this year of great worldwide challenges, NepalAbility has continued to serve the people of Nepal. NepalAbility is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with disability in Nepal, by supporting sustainable rehabilitation. Since our inception in 2006, we have sent 22 teams to teach and bring needed supplies to the region. However, like so many of you, we have had to adapt to carry on our mission in new and tangible, if not remote, ways.
What's Happening in Nepal?
Currently in Nepal, much of the focus of hospital care has been directed to caring for patients with COVID-19. Vaccines are in short supply and equipment is scarce. While this is the case for many countries around the world, there is no safety net for people with disability in Nepal; No CERB, no provincial disability benefits, no workplace compensation insurance, and no government funded healthcare plan. This has made it even more difficult for people living with physical and other disabilities to survive. While poverty is widespread in Nepal at the best of times, the pandemic has created what more closely resembles the worst of times. Nepali patients require support from charitable organizations like NepalAbility.
There are many stories we could tell. Here are a few of the patients we have helped through the generous donations made to NepalAbility. These give you a sense of the challenges, as well as the hope, for people living with disabilities in Nepal.
Teaching is On-line & On-going
Supporting our Nepali colleagues through education and skills training has long been a cornerstone of our mission to support rehabilitation in Nepal. Since the pandemic hit, we shifted to provide on-line learning to frontline Nepali healthcare workers; including doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. The 10-hour time difference between Canada and Nepal has meant that we teach late in the evening, while our Nepali colleagues learn early in the morning. Our Nepali partners shared their learning needs, and we subsequently engaged our colleagues here to help fill those learning gaps. Several Canadian-based speakers have volunteered to share their skills and knowledge with timely topics including Post-COVID Rehabilitation, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and the care of people dependent on wheelchairs for mobility. These issues of decreased strength, exercise tolerance, and mobility are made even more important when you realize that most people in Nepal live in rugged and steep terrain, and in homes and communities largely inaccessible.
NepalAbility's Dr. Alexandra Rendely delivers an online lecture to our Nepali colleagues on Post-COVID Rehabilitation; July, 2021
Fundraising Online, and an Exciting Announcement!
This year we have hosted two online fundraising events which have helped to keep our work in Nepal visible, as well as raise some funds in fun and engaging ways, as shown below in the posters for these two events that took place in April and November 2021.
Posters from our 2021 Virtual Fundraising Series; April and November 2021
I am very pleased to also announce that we have three donors who will generously match your contributions! We are so excited that every donation will provide even further support and hope to many. The cost of care in Nepal is minimal compared to here in North America, so your dollars go a long way to help.
The gap between the resources available to the people of Nepal and those in other more resource rich countries continues to grow, and even small donations make a big difference. If you are able to donate $10, $100 or $1 000 dollars, your donations will go entirely to supporting the rehabilitation needs of people in Nepal. NepalAbility has maintained an extremely low overhead and we are proud that almost 100% of funds raised are used to provide services to the people of Nepal. Our members volunteer and donate their own time, as well as pay their own travel, food, and accommodation costs.
We are humbled and are grateful for your support. Remember your donations this year will be matched, so your money will work even harder to support people with disabilities in Nepal!
Your matched donation can be made here. All donations over $25 will receive a charitable tax receipt.
Nora Cullen, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Charitable Registration #706073087 RR0001