Our local staff makes regular visits to the project areas in Dang. A team from the Language Development Centre also visited the Tharu project in April to meet with local women groups and help them to continue sustainable livelihoods activities in coordination with local stakeholders.
We visited seven women groups and three women saving and credit groups, which are formally registered in government office. It was so good to see progression in goat rearing, vegetable farming and fodder plantations to provide fodder for their goats as apposed to denuding the local forests for fodder. We met with over 150 women during this visit who are involving in project activities. This visit was encouraging because the local women groups are able to continue and initiate new group and project activities with very little financial support from us.
Each family has 9-10 goats, one member able to earn approximately $350.00 selling goats last year. More Goat sheds are under construction and families are planting fodder trees and bushes plus fodder plants for their goats.
Saving and Credit
Each group is running a saving and credit service. Project records show that each group is able to collect and invest approximately $1,335.00. By maintaining good financial records increased trust is developed among group members and communities, which contributes to initiating new activities. Each member deposits $1.04 (NPR 100) per month in her account with the group. The group then decides who receives loans, the level of interest and the repayment schedule.
Positive changes through group activities;
Comments from some of the participants
Punam (46), Chairperson, Women Cooperative: “I am able to lead the organization because I am learning from my experiences and committed to learn from other's experiences.”
Dhana (34), Manager, and Women Cooperative: “All the children in our village are enrolled in school. Not one child who can go to school is left behind when our school is open.” We are impressed by the change we see in the parents who are now more aware about the importance of school and have the financial resources to pay for the education expenses of their children.
Maya (42) Chairperson, Women Group: “I am happy to lead group activities and work with local communities to continue the project activities. I am anticipating more support to run our Community Learning Center, which help us to sustain our literacy skills and improve our livelihood activities. Now, I realized that literate person more aware for proper use of the financial resources. I am thankful those people who are supporting us.”
Like Maya we are also grateful for your support. Thank you.
Last week we visited the Limbu project to help out with making reading materials in Limbu and train local teachers to use them in the classroom. This is all part of our multilingual education project we run in partnership with the local education office and our partner Limbu organization in the east of Nepal.
We had time to visit one of the adult literacy classes and have a look at the small business run by Limbu women that are part of our sustainable livelihoods program as well as arrange a public meeting to mark the International Mother Language Day on 20 February.
Two primary schools in Yashok and Aangsarang villages
This is going well, helped that the teachers are Limbu (not always the case in many schools) and the children are all Limbu speakers. The goal is to enable the children to their education in Limbu and then switch to Nepali.
Material Development Workshop and Teacher Training
Four teachers, two literacy class facilitators, a member of staff, one local artist, 13 local indigenous knowledge holders and some of the children’s parents were trained to collect local stories and write them down so they are not forgotten. Our aim is to use them in the classrooms with the Limbu children. The local artist has already started the illustrations.
Adult literacy classes
We visited a Limbu women literacy class in Yashok run by Deshu. She explained how she began with pre-reading and writing activities that gave the participant’s basic reading and writing skills in Limbu. The remaining time for this class will be to make sure these skills stick.
Comments from some of the participants
Kamala (60) I am able to speak Limbu fluently but now I am learning to read and write it as well. This is a great fortune for me because now I am able to recognize, read and write the Limbu alphabet.
Indra Maya (55) I have fear of loosing my language. Now I am feeling happy because this program helps me and my friends us to use our language in reading and writing.
Sangita (24) I am literate in Nepali but not in Limbu. Now I am slowly learning how to read and write in Limbu. I am proud and happy to learn my own language.
Malati (50) I was illiterate in Limbu and Nepali but able to speak both of them. Now I am able to copy Limbu alphabets but cannot read it easily because of the confusion with half letters in Limbu. So we need more simple reading materials in Limbu.
Deshu, the facilitator shared that all the participants were highly motivated but heavy responsibilities at home that make it impossible for them to attend all the classes. This means the classes will has to run longer then planned to make sure they all finish well.
Sustainable Livelihoods (Khesh weaving training)
We are providing training to five women to develop skills to weave Khesh (a special kind of cloth used for shawls) Everyone realizes that it all too easy for their community to lose these skills so Harka Maya is facilitating the training. Her mother taught her how to weave Khesh and she is proud for this opportunity to pass on her skills to the younger women.
International Mother Language Day: 20 February 2014
This was an opportunity to present our programs to wider audience, Our Limbu partner organization invited government officers and members of other organization in Phidim to discus the role of local languages in the community. One strong point was the commitment to support more local primary schools to use Limbu in the classroom.
Listening and reflection is always a feature of any visit. We learnt:
Without your donations none of this would be possible. Thank you.
We would like to share Neera’s story with you. Your contributions made it all possible.
Livelihoods projects were started in seven Tharu women groups in Dang supported by the Language Development Centre and Help Society Nepal, a local Tharu NGO, to improve the socio-economic status of women in Tharu communities.
Neera is a member of Sayepatri Women Cooperative. This group of 26 women has been together for two years. Neera has two daughters and her husband works as a day paid worker in the local market when he can find work. Their income is minimal and some days he finds no paid work.
Neera has participated in a number of livelihood trainings and along with all her group members started her own business with six goats. Neera now has 22 goats, last month Neera sold four goats for $360.00. Another five goats will be ready for sale within 6-7 weeks. She is very happy with her progress and built a new goat shed to expand her goat rearing business. She said that "the project help me to change my thinking, my life style, and increased my self-confidence as well as encouraging all of us to become involved in making our own small business.”
Other Women Cooperatives also need support and training to start goat rearing and skills to build improved goat sheds. All women cooperatives benefit from visits to other communities to gain new ideas for family based businesses.
Thank you for your continued support to the Tharu communities in Nepal. Please continue to check our website, http://www.ldcnepal.org/ for updates on our progress, and share this link with friends and family.
We are implementing integrated project activities with the Tharu communities in Dang in coordination with local stakeholders through the women cooperative groups. The response has and been wonderful and encourages us to continue our work with these communities all made possible through your contribution.
Our projects also address environmental challenges through literacy classes, training for sustainable livelihoods, raising awareness and changing attitudes through advocacy and networking. We assist local women cooperative groups to plant tree seedlings in their villages so eventually they will have enough fodder to feed their animals and keep the community looking green.
Language Development Centre Nepal and Help Society Nepal is jointly implementing the project activities in close coordination with local stakeholders. We are empowering women led community groups to improve their socio-economic status. The following achievements are made based on project and community's records.
1. 767 members are actively involved from 71 community groups, among them we are providing direct support to 7 Women Groups with 250 members.
2. Approximately 140,000 seedlings are planted for fodder trees and one hector of land used to produce forage.
3. Local Government offices had provided 25,000 seedlings for our activities.
4. We planted more than 200 seedlings at Help Society Nepal compound to develop model green garden.
People attitudes are changing. Local communities are more aware about their rights, responsibilities, children education and environmental issues.
Women led group need more coaching, support and exposure to develop their capacity and influences in the community. Neighboring communities asking us to expand the project activities and existing program need to regular support with close monitoring.
We continue to implement regular activities with the Tharu communities in Dang and are encouraged by the progress in the communities with women groups. Progress is made possible through your contribution.
Community Cooperative trainings
Language Development Centre Nepal and its local partner NGO in Dang, Help Society Nepal continues working with 7 Women Groups with 250 direct beneficiaries. These groups are working together to continue literacy, livelihoods and community development activities.
In response to a request by the community group we organized a three day Saving and Credit management training for 59 women from seven women groups. These members will then act as a local resource person to train the other group members. This training has helped the participants to understand the importance of saving and credit cooperative activities, its functions, structure, financial transactions and procedures. Mr. Homlal Bhusal, Cooperative Development Officer (District Cooperative Development Office) worked as a trainer for this training.
Training participants and women community group members need more training and supports to understand about saving and credit procedure and its management. We are planning to support these groups to enable them to register with the District Cooperative Board to start their cooperative officially and access further resources that are only available to groups registered with the local government.
Thank you for your continued support to these Tharu communities in Nepal. Please continue to check our website, http://www.ldcnepal.org/ for updates on our progress, and share the link with friends and family.
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