PHASE Nepal

To improve the living standards of people living in remote Himalayan communities, by providing immediate support and empowering them. Through integrated programmes in the areas of health, education and livelihoods, PHASE aims to support the most vulnerable (women, children, low castes, the very poor and people with disabilities) to break the cycle of poverty, by assisting communities and local authorities to lay the groundwork for a self-sufficient future.
Jul 7, 2016

A fresh air of happiness

Purna Kala from Maila
Purna Kala from Maila

Maila is a community of around 800 households in Humla, the district in the most North-Western corner of Nepal. In the North, the border of the district is China, in the West, there is India. Travelling to Humla from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, takes several days and due to the extreme climate and the difficult access to the area, the district is amongst the least developed in Nepal. Especially children and women are suffering from the limited access to health services. PHASE Nepal has been working in Maila since 2008 through integrated community projects to improve the health services and support the community through adult literacy and livelihood improvement programmes.

“Dansara Jaisi is a 53 year old woman living in Maila. She got married at the age of 12 but stayed at her parental home until her first menstruation, when she was 14. After that, she went to live with her in-laws and husband.

There were 15 members in the family altogether, and resources were scarce. As traditionally the new daughter-in-law does most of the household work and is the last to eat, Dansara was always tired and hungry. For her, daily chores became more difficulty as she became pregnant just a year later, aged 15. At that time, there was no functioning health post anywhere nearby, so there was no question of having the baby in a health post or hospital. Dansara gave birth to her first baby at home, after seven days of labour pains. Soon after the delivery, she had to pick up her daily chores again and had to leave behind her 5 days old child. She gave birth to 9 children in total, of whom 4 are alive until this day; she lost two children because of miscarriage and the other babies passed away before they reached the age of 1.

Her body started to feel weak soon after she gave birth to her third child. The hard life in the village began to degrade her body's energy creating several problems like pain in her lower belly and back, white discharge and chronic fatigue. In spite of this she conceived six more children, despite all the agony she went through.  She was tolerating all the pain and discomforts to keep a good relation with her husband and family-in-law. But as she wasn’t able to carry heavy loads or work as other women in the village, she soon fell into discredit with her in-laws and lost their respect.  That wasn’t the end of her problems. She started to keep her husband at a distance because of the vaginal discharge which she wanted to hide and felt ashamed about. Her husband married another woman in consent of their family members which caused her great heart-ache. She didn't even think of sharing her problems with other people and thought that all women were suffering the same ordeal as her. Eventually, after many years of daily hard work, she started feeling the symptoms of uterine prolapse – her womb dropping down and forming a lump outside her vagina, causing great discomfort. She used to push it up slowly at night. In silence, she endured the suffering all by herself.

As time passed by, she heard the news of a check-up programme related to uterus prolapse by PHASE Nepal. She consulted about it with the female community health volunteers of her village and they suggested her to visit the health post without any delay. At the post, sisters of PHASE Nepal examined her and gave the necessary treatment by inserting a rubber ring pessary. The woman was advised to visit the health post regularly for follow up. After insertion of the ring pessary, she was finally relieved from the pain she had been enduring and hiding for so long. Slowly, the daily chores, which used to make her exhausted, began to feel easy and effortless. It has been 16 month since she had the ring pessary and she feels like breathing a fresh air of happiness ever since. She also believes that if she had been treated before, she would not be isolated from her family.

She thanks PHASE Nepal for their help and wishes them all the best to serve and help more women like her in future.”

On a recent monitoring visit to the region, Purna Kala Jaishi, Member of Mother’s Group, Maila-3, testified:

“Maternal and Child death rate was high before the intervention of PHASE Nepal’s programme in our VDC. Due to lack of treatment and health post access, there was untimely death of large numbers of mothers and children. But now the situation is different, PHASE Nepal has improved our health and lives with treatment and medicines and made us aware about the importance of savings. Not only this, we are empowered to read and write in general.”     

PHASE Nepal would like to thank you for your support to the people of Maila, Humla district!

Community meeting in Maila
Community meeting in Maila
Meeting with teachers in Maila
Meeting with teachers in Maila
Monitoring of livelihood projects in Maila
Monitoring of livelihood projects in Maila

Links:

Jun 14, 2016

Update on Earthquake-Affected Areas

Seti Devi students in front of new classroom
Seti Devi students in front of new classroom

PHASE Nepal’s work to help the recovery of areas affected by last year’s devastating earthquake is continuing. With most people still living in temporary shelters and public services being forced to operate in makeshift structures, permanent rebuilding is a huge priority for communities.

Ram Bahadur Thapa, principal of Seti Devi School – Tumpakhar tells us: “We are happy to have the 4 classrooms finished and have a good environment where our students can study. The blocks were both finished on time and thanks to the good coordination between PHASE Nepal and SWC (school management committee), the work went good and smoothly. 546 schools have been destroyed in Sindhupalchok and we are very grateful that PHASE Nepal and HDFA have chosen our school to support and rebuild. We are sure it will encourage our students to study more and better.”

PHASE is pleased to announce the completion of new permanent classroom blocks for two of the schools we support in Sindhupalchok – Jal Devi in Hagam and Seti Devi in Thumpakhar. Funded by UNHCR and HDFA, and built using earthquake-resistant designs, the classrooms are already in use! The spacious, well let and well insulated classrooms make a huge difference for the learning environment of the children.

Grade 10 students of Seti Devi say: “We are so happy with the new classrooms. In the TLC (temporary learning center), it is very hot and when it rains, we can hardly hear the teacher. We have to attend this year the SLC-exam (school leaving certificate) and we were very worried that we wouldn’t be able to study properly. But now, we have our new classrooms and we will work hard and study well so we can all pass the exam.”

Several more school blocks are being planned for the next few months, as well as the reconstruction of health posts for communities in Sindhupalchok and Gorkha. Wide-reaching water and sanitation projects are also underway, ensuring that communities have access to a safe water supply, and longer-term livelihood projects will improve food security and build resilience.

Slowly, the remote areas of Nepal where PHASE works, are emerging from this crisis. But there is a long way to go, and we won’t be able to realise our ambitious plans without the generous support from our donors across the world.

Parents of the students of Seti Devi say: “Times have been hard since the earthquake for us and also for the children. We have no proper place to live and this year, also the rains are delayed so we still couldn’t plant the rice. We have no choice but to work on the field as we didn’t have the opportunity to go to school so we want our children to go to school and have a good life later on. Sometimes they don’t want to go as it is hot in the class but now, with the new classrooms, they will go to school and they have no excuse but to study hard. Thank you very much for giving our children a good place to study! At least, we know now that they will be safe during the day when we are out in the fields.”

TODAY – 15th June – is a unique opportunity for your donations to go further than ever before. Starting at 9.45am Nepal time, every donation you make through this link https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/nepal-earthquake-emergency-appeal/will be matched by an incredible 150%. That means that if you donate $10, PHASE will receive $25 to put towards our vital earthquake recovery work!!

Even if you are not able to donate, please consider letting your friends and networks know about this incredible offer by forwarding this email or sharing the link on social media!

Parents at hand-over programme
Parents at hand-over programme
Students performing traditional Nepali dance
Students performing traditional Nepali dance
Ram Bahadur Thapa, principal of Seti Devi School
Ram Bahadur Thapa, principal of Seti Devi School
Old and young enjoying the programme
Old and young enjoying the programme

Links:

May 9, 2016

PHASE Nepal's education programmes

Observation of teacher in Kolti, Bajura
Observation of teacher in Kolti, Bajura

This Global Giving campaign is funding some of PHASE Nepal’s education activities in some of the remotest regions of Nepal, including teacher training in rural schools such as Bajura. PHASE Nepal is also conducting alternative classes in remote Northern Gorkha to ensure children are getting the education that they are entitled to.

Sumi, the PHASE Nepal Education Officer, recently visited Bajura district in far west Nepal to monitor our teacher training work there.  Having observed one of the teachers who took part in the awareness level training, Sumi said:

“Naina is a teacher at Chandra Nath Lower Secondary School in Kolti, Bajura. He has been teaching primary school children for 18 years. He chose this profession because he loves teaching and playing games with the students.

It was a very nice morning when I arrived and the children were excited because it was time for mathematics class. The students knew that there was going to be lots of fun and activities related to numeracy. The students seemed very happy in Naina’s class.

The teacher told me that he had learnt so many teaching techniques in the training and he has been using them in his classroom. He also said that PHASE Nepal’s training provided lots of ideas and methods which made it easy to plan lesson in a way which involve children and help them to learn and engage in fun way. He thinks this type of training should be given to teachers in schools all over Nepal.”

Alternative Schools in Chumchet, Northern Gorkha

Chumchet is a cluster of very remote villages high in the Nepalese Himalaya around four days walk from the nearest road.  PHASE has been working in this region, mainly on health programmes, since 2007.  Following the successful establishment of a primary health post (where there was previously no medical care) the next step of our integrated community development programme is to work with the local government to establish primary education provision. 

PHASE set up two alternatives schools one in Shree Sidhha Ganesh Primary School and the other in Yarchu village. The purpose of the alternative school programme is to prepare small children for enrollment in government schools when they grow older (as schools are often several hours walking away from home, small children aren’t sent there when they very young).

There are 37 students currently attending Shree Sidhha Ganesh Primary School – 11 male students and 26 female students and 33 children attending Yarchu school. 

Prasika has been a teacher in the PHASE Nepal’s alternative school for 5 months, she is very happy about working with the children in Yarchyo, Gorkha. In the beginning, Prasika was nervous about living in such a remote place which is 5 days walk from the nearest road. However after 5 months she is enjoying working in the region and wants to continue teaching there. Prasika told us: “It’s amazing to see how the children in Yarchyo are so interested in studying. They come to the school regularly. They are excited and very involved in games and activities.”

Pema is a 13 year old boy who is in Prasika’s class he told us: “I wish Saturday would not come, because on Saturday I have to take the cattle to the forest to graze. I would rather be in school with my friends learning and playing. My teacher is very kind. She gave us warm jackets and shoes for the winter.”

Urmila, another PHASE Nepal alternative teacher has worked for 3 years.  She said: “The students’ writing, speaking and reading skills have improved a lot. Before, when we asked questions to the students, they used to repeat the question back to us as their first language is Tibetan not Nepalese. For example: if we asked “What is your name?” they repeated “What is your name?” But now they can communicate in Nepali language and even in a little bit of English.

Kalpana the PHASE alternative teacher in Taju village in Northern Gorkha also shared her experience: “The children used to feel very shy before. Now they ask questions when they don’t understand what we are saying or teaching. Girls actively take part in games, like the boys. Before, girls used to feel very shy to play football but now they are actively involved in all games and in class activities. They are doing very well in exams too.”

We would like to thank you all for your continuous support to PHASE Nepal and the children in Nepal!

Sumi taking feedback from teacher in Kolti
Sumi taking feedback from teacher in Kolti
Student of PHASE
Student of PHASE's alternative classes in Chumchet

Links:

 

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