Assessing needs of international Nepalese students: Role of the community sector

Hyde Park with Sydney CBD in the background. (Image: Flickr)

An opinion by Subesh Panta

Amidst the public health emergency at hand, collective efforts from concerned stakeholders and line agencies should focus on providing shelter to the vulnerable. Earlier, (in another paper) I have already classified the impacted population, and stressed for importance of ensuring nutrients to the same – arguing the impact of lack of food during such crisis to add woes, and therefore affecting mental health.

In this paper, I wish to extend the scope of essential services – from basic food to shelter, as being the most important components towards immediate relief and positive mental well-being.

Assessing the rate at which casual jobs for students are declining, and its direct contribution towards rise in unemployment will lead towards inability to self-isolate in proper shelter for the vulnerable. In such events, the entire community might find it difficult to ensure proper measures towards keeping the community healthy. Immediate concern on regulating future health of the vulnerable should be kept on priority and proper action should be taken immediately by organizations delivering community services.

Therefore, I would like to appeal to various social organizations from the Nepalese community to step-up and provide access to shelter to students who are at risk of becoming homeless. Consideration towards social distance, as per national law is also a must. This step will ease the mental burden on students in desperate need of subsistence. Time is of the essence, and collective action of utmost importance – we need to prove our community spirit as exemplary by mitigating the impact of crisis on students.

The second stage is to identify the severity of homelessness to students because of rising unemployment, and immediate treatment of the same problem.

Following two figures shows the possible consequences of unemployment and what will be the positive impact if community organizations and clubs show their combined efforts:

As per figure 2, impact of collective efforts from Community Organisations will help the community to step up, raise awareness, and increase community engagement.

It is also important to note that support does not conclude here, instead principal contribution from organizations mount after supplying basic needs. Contribution may be towards launching awareness program for adapting to the situation, and other educational initiatives such as the importance of fitness.

About the Author: 
Subesh Panta is an international student from Nepal in Australia, and has recently completed his Masters of Social Work with Federation University in Ballarat. 
The views expressed in the article are of the author, and do not reflect the editorial stance of Nepalese Voice.