Waiting to be screened at the Khoku health camp
Fifth report from Nepal - $29,219 raised through Global Giving has benefited over 18,000 women and children!
This is the fifth report on our Nepal appeal launched through Global Giving in June 2015. The money is helping three partner organizations to provide health care to village women in eastern Nepal; rescue children from work in the brick kilns; and empower wives of those who disappeared during Nepal’s internal armed conflict.
Since our last report, in May, we have taken this appeal in an exciting new direction. Our goals still remain the same, but our approach has changed. While this appeal remains open, we are also dealing with the three organizations separately and deployed three Peace Fellows to help them manage their grants this summer. Two Fellows – Lauren Purnell and Megan Keeling – posted microprojects on Global Giving and raised another $2,285 for their hosts.
Taken together, since launching this appeal 14 months ago, we have raised $29,219 for women and children in Nepal through Global Giving from 181 donors, and disbursed $21,239. We estimate the number of direct beneficiaries to be around 3,000 – or 18,000 individuals if we include family members. All of this is explained below, where we also introduce you to some of the beneficiaries. Thank you for your support!
a) Care Women Nepal (CWN) provides health care for village women through health camps in the remote eastern district of Dhankuta. In addition to the funds raised through our appeal, Global Giving awarded us another $20,000 for CWN health camps. So far, we have transferred $13,558 to CWN since June last year. This has enabled CWN to screen 1,005 villagers in 2015, and another 1,960 villagers at 2 camps this year. CWN has also taken 21 women with untreatable prolapse for surgery at the local hospital.
Peace Fellow Morgan Moses, from Tulane University, has provided a powerful account of this project through her blogs and photos. Morgan accompanied seven women to hospital where they underwent surgery. One of the women, Ratna Shrestha (pictured below), remembered living with prolapse and having to push her uterus back in before going to the toilet. But after surgery, said Ratna, “there won’t be sadness in my house any more.” In another blog, Morgan also expressed appreciation for the skills of Dr Karki, the surgeon. A warning: this blog carries the photo of an extracted uterus.
After the surgeries, Morgan moved to Koku for a second health camp of 2016 and accompanied CWN’s local volunteers as they spread the word in the villages. The camp itself took place over two days at a local school and screened another 925 villagers.
In her final blog, Morgan again uses her writing skills to explain why we should all feel compassion for these women in far-off Nepal, even if we ourselves may be fortunate enough never to experience the horror of prolapse: “Neither you or I will know the feeling of keeping cloth in our vaginal canals until it disintegrates into pieces because we’ll never know the desperate need to keep our reproductive organs from leaking pus.” Your donations are directly helping to keep reduce this misery.
b) The National Network of Families of Disappeared and Missing Nepal (NEFAD) represents over 1,000 families that lost members to the disappearances. Working with NEFAD we have raised just over $5,500 to train wives how to produce embroidery for sale and help build NEFAD into a sustainable and effective organization.
We made a start in 2015, by testing out the embroidery concept with a small number of wives. Their response was enthusiastic, although they also asked for more training. With this in mind, we asked Megan Keeling, a graduate student at the Fletcher School at Tufts, to work as a Peace Fellow with NEFAD this summer and organize a training for wives in the town of Bardiya, where many disappearances occurred.
As Megan reports in this profile of several Bardiya quilters, the trainings were led by Sarita, a NEFAD member who lost a father and almost lost her mother as well. After her father had disappeared, said Sarita, her mother was kidnapped, blindfolded, kept for five days and tortured. Sarita used her own embroidered square to describe this harrowing experience. Writes Megan: “Using the corners of her quilt square to wipe away tears, (Sarita) finished her story and went back to helping the women with their embroidery.” Megan also proves a visual portrait of the quilters in this short video.
As bad luck would have it, Megan was unable to return to Bardiya to collect the squares, because floods washed out the roads. As a result, AP will visit the wives with Ram Bhandari, the director of NEFAD, and report back in November. NEFAD has also asked four wives to display their embroidery on August 30 at the annual commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared in Kathmandu.
In the meantime, we invite you to visit Megan’s own microproject on Global Giving and read her report. So far we have transferred $1,533 to NEFAD from our appeals. We look forward to transferring the remaining $3,171 well before the end of this year.
c) Since June of last year, CONCERN, the third partner organization to benefit from this appeal, has used $6,148 to take 35 children out of the brick kilns and place them in school. 25 of the children were freed in 2015. This year, we also recommended CONCERN to the Global Fund for Children, which decided to invest another $5,000 (also raised through Global Giving) in the brick project and rescue another 25 children.
We recruited a Peace Fellow, Lauren Purnell from John Hopkins University, to help CONCERN implement this latest phase of the project and meet with this year’s 25 young beneficiaries. Some are profiled in this blog. They include Budhhi, 8, who spent three years in the kilns before being placed in school by CONCERN. An added bonus, writes Lauren, is that by sponsoring Budhhi’s education CONCERN “is also able to take his 2-year-old sister with him to school so that she isn’t in the way of her parents’ work.” Buddhi told Lauren that he wants to be a pilot when he grows up.
Lauren also turned into one of our most successful fundraisers this summer. She posted one microproject on Global Giving and raised $1,500 – enough to pay for the education of ten more children. Unsatisfied with that, Lauren has now posted a second appeal for another $1,500 and is quietly confident of meeting her target.
Like other Fellows, Lauren is an excellent writer. We particularly recommend this blog about the role played by the “brokers” who entice poor villagers into brick work months in advance – a sort of bonded labor. Lauren also produced this charming short video for a Korean donor, which captures the sparkling personality of the children.
Taken together your donations through Global Giving have raised $6,148 and made it possible for CONCERN to rescue 35 children from a life among bricks. The total amount raised for CONCERN through Global Giving for CONCERN amounts to $11,148 – enough to place 60 children in school. Our thanks to you, and our congratulations to CONCERN for a job well done! We will be reporting back again in 3 months.
Also of interest:
Screening for uterine prolapse at the Khoku camp
Ratna Shrestha, relieved after her operation
Buddhi, 8, one of 60 kids rescued from bricks
Sarita lost a father and trains wives to embroider
Peace Fellow Morgan at the Khoku health camp