This case study describes how help and protection desks set up by Plan International after the 2015 Nepal earthquake provided critical information and emergency assistance to children, adolescent girls and boys and their families.
After the earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015, Plan International established help and protection desks at 42 distribution sites to provide communities with real time information about the humanitarian assistance, to connect families to (government) services, and respond to concerns and feedback.
The help and protection desks included a shaded space where Plan International staff provided information about their entitlements in the relief phase and explained to families how to use the distributed items. In addition, sessions were organised for children, adolescents and caregivers to raise awareness on how to stay safe after the earthquake and where families could get support. Children and adults with more severe psychosocial distress, children at risk of trafficking, or other urgent support needs were connected to appropriate services by Plan International.
After 2 months, at the end of the distribution phase, the help and protection desks were moved to central locations in the community such as transportation hubs or the local government offices. Throughout the relief and recovery phases, the help and protection desks continued to fulfil a function of a central information and prevention point.
In the first 6 months, 42 help desks and mobile outreach staff provided information on humanitarian services and child protection in emergencies to 56,352 individuals including 44,008 children. The help desks supported 22,865 vulnerable children and adults directly in accessing humanitarian services. Specialised referrals were made for 843 vulnerable girls and boys, to child protection, psychosocial support and health assistance. The role these help and protection desks played in the early detection of child protection issues such as trafficking and child marriage, led some villages to adopt the this intervention as part of their community services.