On 28th May, AVP Nepal organized its first ever virtual tester workshop with a group of 14 women from the Newar community of Kathmandu. Newari people are the historical inhabitants of Kathmandu valley. Some of the participants were members of their nationwide organization, some were cooperative workers, some own a business, and some are house makers. Subhash, Arjun, Sita, Bina, Bhim, and Ram prepared and facilitated this tester online workshop.
“We want the workshop to happen online as soon as possible, starting tomorrow if possible”– Shanti Shakya said in her closing remarks. That was a representative voice. All of them wanted the same. It was also because some of them were not sure if they would be able to participate in a physical workshop later once the lockdown terminated. Now they have time. A participant Ami Maharjan said- “This one and half hour was calm and engaging, but felt incomplete. It seems like there are so many things to learn from the AVP workshop about how to deal with our distress and conflicts. I hope it will be possible soon” (to do the whole workshop). Gyani Maya, a representative of a widow’s women’s group in her community asked- “our social and cultural situation for people like us is difficult, so I want to learn how to live at peace.”
The lockdown in homes that started on the 24th of March shut down AVP basic workshops in Kathmandu. Both participants and facilitators wanted to go virtual instead of waiting. The AVP Nepal team asked, “What and how much can be done online? Can a virtual workshop be as powerful as a physical one?” We decided to explore! At the end of the tester workshop, the team. To start regular online workshops, we feel it is possible if necessary, but will require we adapt and learn a lot of creative new ways of doing things online.
COVID- 19 situation in Nepal is getting complicated. Cases are multiplying, people are dying. As of today, 29 May 2020, 1042 cases and 5 deaths have been recorded. Nepal’s centralized health infrastructure and testing capacity is very limited. Thousands of migrant workers are returning to their homes from India where the pandemic is even worse. The virus is widely spreading in the communities. Therefore, the coming days are more uncertain and risky. Let’s see where and how it goes!