Interpretation of Barriers to Participation from the Ground
By Bidya Maharjan | Programme Manager
It was interesting to learn that our clients and carers thought-provoking interpretation of transformative participation, for eg: they saw it as a process of bringing about positive changes in their lives through their participation rather than the bigger systems. However, there are many barriers throughout the process. During one Welcome center workshop session, our clients and carers shared the main barriers to participation was poor economic conditions and lack of time due to the primary need to work as they need money to maintain their homes and also need time to take care of house chores. This was relevant for both clients and carers:
Clients who are working cannot leave their job to attend the programs and those who are dependent on carers to attend programs cannot come if their carers are busy.
Some clients had problems in clearly expressing and communicating due to their health condition and probably due to the effects of medication.
There is a considerable lack of support from family members for female clients due to social norms of treating daughters as ones who would eventually be married off.
They try to make it to the weekly program in the welcome center as much as possible but some clients miss it due to work or inability to come without assistance. In that case, carers try to attend to maintain contact and seek support with the organization.
Some clients fear that due to their mental health problems they see others react negatively to them.
It is physically and mentally difficult to attend at times for the clients since their illness and medication makes them drowsy and they cannot think clearly.
Ganga said: ”Because of having mental illness I am neglected by my ownfamily and society.I am excluded from employment opportunities, participation in social functions too”
Tara said “My husband often comments that there is too much work to do at home and says I should not go anywhere. There are children who also need to be looked after, so I cannot go anywhere even if I want to go. I cannot leave our children and house because of fear of comments and abuse from husband and in-laws.”
Muna said: " Due to our poor economic condition I am not even able to attend all the interesting programmes, workshop etc happening in my own community and also at Chhahari. I have to go an work to make 40 dollars a month, without which I cannot purchase food or medication"
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