ETC's work in four wards of Ramdhuni Municipality, Sunsari District is ramping up fast, after a delayed start due to the pandemic. We're delighted to report that, as of March 2021:
Women's empowerment: We've formed 22 women's groups with a total of 522 members. The groups are already well on their way to collecting their first 10,000 rupees (about US$86 at the current exchange rate) for their self-managed microsavings funds. This amount, when reached, will be matched by 10,000 rupees from ETC and 5,000 rupees from the local government - a really wonderful show of support from the latter! The ward authorities are very glad to have us working there and have expressed themselves ready and willing to be active partners, which is a huge help.
Sustainable agriculture: Each women's group has chosen its Leader Farmer, who will serve as a liaison and source of information for her peers. The kitchen garden training and planting is underway, and we are coming up with creative solutions to support kitchen gardens for any women's group members whose families own no land and have literally no available space outside their homes that they can use. We've also begun chicken and duck livestock training.
Children's education: We have begun distributing school supplies and classroom materials at each of our thirteen partner schools, which have a combined total enrollment of well over 2,000 students.
This is a great start, but stay tuned - there's plenty more to come! Considering the schools, for example: Although the actual buildings are on average in much better condition already than was the case when we started working in some of our past project areas (meaning that the walls and floors are generally solid, there are proper windows and doors, etc.), there is still plenty of room for improvement in other ways. For example, in some schools there are not as many teachers as there are grade levels, which means that we should offer the teachers who have students at more than one grade level a variety of types of support for their various duties. Many of the schools can also use infrastructural upgrades such as additional/better toilet facilities and access to clean drinking water.
We greatly appreciate your continued interest and support. We say it all the time, and it's really true - we could not do any of this without you! Thank you!
Hands-on kitchen garden training
Chairwoman and treasurer, Ram Janaki women's group
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