COVID-19 relief fund for International Students from Nepal in the UK organised by Merging NepSocs (MNS)

The current COVID-19 pandemic has left many Nepali international students in need of urgent help. Given that these students are living away from family and may have limited financial support, these students require help with accommodation, food and advice – especially those who have arrived in last three months. Merging NepSocs has been nominated by Government of Nepal and Embassy of Nepal for the UK as the organization to help International Students in the UK. Ever since the effect of the Pandemic started in the UK, Merging NepSocs has been supporting international students through our helpline. We have, so far, received over 150 pleas for help and the number is going up everyday. We spend an hour with each students to identify their problems and categories in RED, AMBER and GREEN. We provide help with information, advice, food and funds.

What is Merging NepSocs doing, right now?

Ever since the effect of the Pandemic has started in the UK, Merging NepSocs has started helpline to support International students facing problems. We have, so far, received over 150 pleas for help. We expect the number of students seeking help to rise in the future. In addition to the people who have reached out to us, we have tried to search for students who might be in dire requirement for support but haven’t contacted us yet.

The students who have been contacted have been categorized as follows:

Red Zone – Students who require immediate help

Amber Zone – Students who might require help within two weeks

Green Zone – Students who can be signposted for appropriate advice

We have identified many students who require immediate help and plan to distribute necessary resources as soon as possible. We have already collected over £2,000 for this purpose but we are aware this is nowhere near enough to be able to sustain in the near future, as we estimate that more students will move into Red Zone and will require immediate help. So far, we have been able to provide help in following ways:

1. Contacted students to identify what the issues are and how to find suitable resolutions
2. Offered appropriate medical advice for students with mental or physical health concerns
3. Sent letters to the management of the universities to reduce or refund fees
4. Collated and circulated information pack on hardship funds available in nearly 40 universities
5. Provided template letters to request

    a. Hardship funds
    b. Reduction or refund of fees
    c. Defer entry to enroll fresh again in 2021
    d. Run workshops to teach the students about using these templates to get the available funds and give details of using other services such as GP, NI, student union etc.

What does Merging NepSocs plans to do next?

Merging NepSocs plans to help the students in Red Zone by providing:

1. Monetary funds
2. Shopping vouchers for food and other essentials
3. Physical and mental health support.
4. Give advice on legal and other concerns.

In addition, Merging NepSocs is also recommending Government of Nepal to ask all the banks in Nepal to freeze or defer instalments of Educational Loans for at least 3 months.

How can you help Merging NepSocs?
Through speaking to nearly 150 international Nepalese students, Merging NepSocs has identified that majority of students require monetary help. Hence, we would be very grateful if you could provide some monetary funds. Hence, we would be really helpful if you could provide support in one or all of the following ways:

1. Monetary funds
2. Recommendation and referral for employment
3. Shopping vouchers for food and other essentials for example Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Boots etc

Donate now to support our international friends.