Women’s Project Spring Update 2019

Update on our Women’s project! Written by Sue 

I am delighted to share that on 23rd March 2019 our programme of delivering women and girl’s menstrual health workshops was completed with a workshop at Shree Sundara Devi school. 

This time, thanks to our learnings from last year’s workshops, and to our excellent team in Nepal, none of the IYH UK team needed to be present. Lamin  who has been an amazing addition to The Mandala Organisation (our Nepali partner NGO) - was able to manage the key roles of project leader, facilitator and translator. Lamin is now our main point of contact with Days for Girls Nepal, the charity who deliver the workshops and manufacture the sanitary kits. We were delighted she secured the wonderful Mahalaxxmi Shresthaback to do the training.  Lamin also liased with the Head Teacher of Sundara Devi school.  Our goal was to get as many women and girls along as possible in this remote rural community and thanks to their joint efforts 108 women and girls attended. 

Here are some extracts from Lamin’s report – it will give you a real feeling for the practicalities of running the project.  Don’t underestimate the remoteness of the community which is a good 2 hours by mountain road from our logistical base at Sukute Resort.

In Yours Hand, UK organized workshop on "Women Reproductive Health and Mensuration" for mother and sisters of the children studying at Shree Sundare Devi Basic School, located at Balfei Rural Municipality, MankhaSindhupalchowk. As a trainer, there was Ms. Mahalaxmi Shrestha from Days for Girls, Nepal and coordinated and managed by Ms. Lamin Lama and Mr. Milan Tamang from TMO. 

We were departure early morning toward school with packed lunch and reached at school at 9:30 am on time. Head Teacher and one lady teacher was waiting for us with 5/6 women. 

The school has only small rooms so we decided to run workshop on the ground of school an open place. Then some of us going to set up place and taking attendance of participants. We took ECD room's carpet out and floored on the ground for sitting arrangement. 

Firstly, School's head teacher welcomes to all participants and highlights on program shortly. After that he handed over to Lamin to make clear about the more highlights of program and also about IYH and TMO too. Lamin highlighted on the objectives of workshop and why IYH and TMO supporting the mother and sister of this community? She clearly said; IYH/TMO supporting you because of your children. IYH wants to women empowerment in this community. Hence, they organized today's workshop thinking of you and your health. It called love and care of sisterhood. 

In workshop, there were 90% adult women and 10% girl's participants. There were 99% participants belongs from Tamang Community. The participation was very active and interactive during workshop. They shared their experiences and presented their opinions and insights thought about the reproductive organs and its working system and also mensuration system. Obviously, session was interesting and interactive because of facilitation skill of Mahalaxxmi Shrestha. In between Lamin facilitated for energizer activities and Milan shared about IYH's hard work for fund raising activities. And another interesting is that there were 4/5 men including (Male Head Teacher) listen to us whole session and encouraged women to speak up. We founded very supportive male in this community. 

Content of Workshop: 

• Women Health 
• Women and male reproductive organs and its functional system. 
• Women mensuration and its system. 
• Hand wash steps 
• Women trafficking 
• Self-defense Techniques 
• Use of reusable sanitary pads 
• Distribution of reusable sanitary packets

So a MASSIVE thank you to Lamin and Milan from TMO and to Mahalaxxmi from Days for Girls Nepal.

What next?  Measurement & Evaluation, and the possibility of Local Enterprise.

The next stage of our Women’s Health project is to partner with Days for Girls Nepal to do some measurement and evaluation of what’s been delivered so far.  This usually takes place 6 months after the workshops, and the goal will be to assess the extent to which the key messages from the workshops have been retained and deemed useful.  It also involves understanding whether the women and girls have used the sanitary kits, what they like about them and whatcould be improved. Learnings from this measurement and evaluation work will help IYH make informed decisions about future women’s menstrual health projects.  

In particular we will be assessing whether any of the 6 communities have an interest in developing a local enterprise to manufacture and distribute the sanitary kits.  Days for Girls Nepal can train women from remote communities to manufacture the sanitary kits, and to build a simple business and marketing plan.  This is something  IYH may consider supporting but we would only do so if there is significant buy-in from community leadership, and this is something that will also be tested during the measurement and evaluation process.

Watch this space for further updates!

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