Reproductive Health for 500 Dalit Women in Nepal

 
$7,961 $0
Raised Remaining
Gairung Workshop
Gairung Workshop

Namaste,

We have now completed the projected reproductive health workshops with participation from representatives of 28 women's groups. These representatives have shared their knowledge of contraception, safe pregnancy and birth and pre- and post natal care with other members of their group. In all, around 500 women are able to take better care of themselves and their infants. 

At this point, we have raised enough to cover all our expenses for the workshops, including the cost of conducting one-day follow-up workshops to reinforce what the women learned in the two-day workshop. These follow-ups are scheduled for the second half of 2015.

As we complete our current fundraising efforts, we thank our donors from the bottom of our hearts for making these life-saving interventions possible.

We refer you to our website, www.edwon.org, to learn more abou the impact of workshops, and hope you will stay in touch.

In gratitude,

-Eva Kasell

EDWON President & Founder

Saraswati
Saraswati

Saraswati, 25, is a remarkable Dalit woman. Despite the low levels of Dalits completing even high school she has managed to not only finish high school, but also earn her Bachelors. Even more, she is now working on her Masters in Sociology in order to “get a job in the social sector and help women who are deprived from so many opportunities.” She boldly asserts, “I want to be the medium for these women to get their opportunities.” EDWON is proud to champion such women and to say that Saraswati is one of our Fieldworkers.

As the Fieldworker for Baglung, Saraswati helped to organize the Baglung Reproductive Health Workshop in May and make sure it ran smoothly. Not only that, EDWON also invited her to attend the Workshop due to her status as an important community member who could pass on the knowledge she gained to the five Baglung Women’s Groups.

This month EDWON caught up with Saraswati to hear more about her experiences of the Baglung Workshop and how she has used the knowledge she gained to help herself and her community.

First of all, Saraswati reports that the Workshop atmosphere was very encouraging for the women who might not have shared their experiences otherwise “because of shame.” Furthermore, from the Workshop she learned many vital lessons on topics ranging from breast cancer to child marriage.

However, one simple but important takeaway for Saraswati was how critical it is to ask women to go to the health worker when they are experiencing any kind of medical problem—in rural regions of Nepal people don’t assume that a medical professional could help them so the Workshop stresses the importance of seeking out a health worker when in need. Clearly the women heard the importance of that message as Saraswati attests to. Now she reports, “I help the women in the community by advising them to go to the health worker when they are suffering from all different kinds of health problems.”

Saraswati (in green, behind sign) w/ Baglung group
Saraswati (in green, behind sign) w/ Baglung group

Links:

Gita at Ghairung RHW
Gita at Ghairung RHW

Dear Donors,

Gita is a leader in the village of Taklung. She is largely responsible for bringing the need for women’s health programs to our attention. Her concern led us directly to engage with GlobalGiving. We are so grateful to you for making the workshops possible. Your generosity has already saved one—perhaps two lives.

In July 2014, Gita sent us this narrative which so vividly demonstrates the importance of these workshops:

“In Taklung a few women understand how important reproductive and sexual health knowledge is. When the doctors and nurses came to teach us, these women made sure to bring all the mother-in-laws and daughter-in laws of our village to the Workshop.

The Workshop proved to us that the normal behavior towards daughter-in-laws needs to improve! It also taught us about the appropriate age to give birth and when to seek medical care during labor. We learned about birth spacing, contraceptives, gender equality, and the adverse effects of child marriage. We discussed the danger of cervical cancer and many other things. 

With all the new knowledge we gained from the Workshop, we saved the life of a woman and her baby. This is now an inspiring example for our village!

It was only 2 weeks ago that a daughter-in-law of a Workshop participant went into labor. The labor went on for many, many hours. But luckily the mother-in-law had learned in the Workshop that medical attention is needed when labor pains are prolonged.

We all got together to help and hurried to get the woman to the nearest health post as fast as we could. The roads weren’t paved so we couldn’t use a motor vehicle. In a cloth hammock we carried our sister for 3 to 4 hours to reach Manakamana Poly Clinic. But, when we got there, they told us that the baby’s heart was beating abnormally fast and the mother’s bleeding was unstoppable. They told us to take her to Bharatpur Hospital. Bharatpur is far away, but there is a road, and we got a ride.  Once at the hospital, thankfully everything went well: our sister gave birth to a healthy 3.5kg girl!

I thank God every day for this training. Sometimes I wonder, had we not had the Workshops, would we have lost three of our sisters and orphaned their children?

We are very happy that these Workshops are available to us. We are grateful that we won't have to lose our sisters in childbirth because of ignorance. I am very grateful to EDWON and everyone associated with it.”

Gita, ADWAN Board Member, Taklung Village Activist

We join Gita in thanking you, the donors, who made this possible.

On the 18th & 19th of this past June, EDWON hosted the sixth and final Reproductive Health Workshop in the Ghairung & Bungkot region of Gorkha district. From here, all six communities will receive a follow-up refresher training 8 months from the time of their initial Workshop.

Ghairung RHW Attendees
Ghairung RHW Attendees

Links:

Workshop Attendee
Workshop Attendee

From May 24-30 the EDWON team, with our partners Nidan and Marie Stopes International—Nepal, hosted two Reproductive Health Workshops, for two days each, in Baglung and Arghakhanchi. 27 community health workers and Women’s Group leaders in Baglung (pop. 29,000) and 19 in Arghakhanchi (pop. 3,000) eagerly attended.

The women were not disappointed as they gained life-changing knowledge on topics ranging from how to have healthy pregnancies and deliveries to basic neonatal care and the risks of early-age marriage to the fundamentals of family-planning. And the trainers taught the material with a sensitivity to what the women most wanted to learn and how they would best learn it, modifying their lesson based on participant feedback and an assessment of their level of knowledge as well as using visual aids and simple language. 

Particularly in the community of Arghakhanchi, Kamal Pariyar, our project manager in Nepal, reported that “The women were very forthcoming in sharing their experiences, something that had not happened in earlier trainings. The team was able to create the environment to allow them to open up and talk about things they would normally consider embarrassing or taboo.”

Furthermore, Kamal stated that “Participants from both groups were so happy with this training and they shared that they will apply the learning they obtained from the training in their life as well as share the ideas and knowledge with their Women’s Groups, relatives, friends, and communities.”

Approximately 245 more women are expected to benefit from the 46 attendees’ new knowledge adding to the growing community of women empowered by our team. EDWON, along with its partners, hopes to build a community of women in remote regions of Nepal who, thanks to their increased understanding of reproductive and sexual health, have gained control of family planning decisions while having healthier babies and living healthier lives.

Hands-on Learning
Hands-on Learning
Visual Aids
Visual Aids
Women Learning in Arghakhanchi
Women Learning in Arghakhanchi
Tools of the Trade
Tools of the Trade

Links:

Attendee at Workshop
Attendee at Workshop

Two Reproductive Health Workshops took place in the villages of Manakamana and Tanglichowk in Gorkha District of Nepal. A total of 73 women leaders were trained in the following topics: early age marriage and pregnancy, adolescent health, care of pregnant women, danger signs during pregnancy and how to take care of them, breast cancer, uterine prolapse, family planning, and safe abortions.

The 73 women leaders will communicate the life-saving knowledge presented in the workshops to more than 500 women, enabling women and children to live healthier lives and entire communities to make more informed childbearing and family-planning decisions. We hope that awareness of the dangers of early marriage and childbearing will decrease such practices; and that with access to contraception, women will plan and space their pregnancies. A number of free family planning services are available through organizations such as Marie Stopes International and the women got the chance to learn about them in these workshops.

When asked how she would use the information presented at the workshop in Manakamana, one of the participants, Tuku, answered, "I will talk about this knowledge with other women in our monthly group meeting. I will visit individually with the girls in my village to raise awareness in order to stop early-age marriage and childbirth. I will visit pregnant women to advise them about the care they need to take when they are pregnant. I will share my knowledge with illiterate women about reproductive and sexual health.”

Furthermore, Kamal Pariyar, our project manager in Nepal, was impressed with the trainers’ ability to connect to the women and win their trust. What could be more important in a teaching situation? Despite delay and inconvenience caused by heavy rain, the workshops were successful and women thanked the trainers for the information so vital to their lives.

Follow-up visits will take place in 8 months to reinforce the new knowledge and to give trainers feedback on their approach.

Women Listening to Speakers
Women Listening to Speakers
Aditi, from our partner Nidan, teaching the women
Aditi, from our partner Nidan, teaching the women
Women role-playing in the Workshop
Women role-playing in the Workshop
Parbati listening at the Tanglichowk Workshop
Parbati listening at the Tanglichowk Workshop
Group photo in Tanglichowk
Group photo in Tanglichowk

Links:

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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Empower Dalit Women of Nepal

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
http://www.edwon.org

Project Leader

Eva Kasell

Founder and President
Cambridge, Massachusetts United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Reproductive Health for 500 Dalit Women in Nepal