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Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal

by The Advocacy Project
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Protect 500 Vulnerable Women and Children in Nepal
Haris, 10, one of 51 brick kids now in school
Haris, 10, one of 51 brick kids now in school

Sixth Update from Nepal

By Iain Guest - Project Leader

This is the sixth time we have reported on our Nepal appeal, launched through Global Giving in June 2015 following the devastating earthquake. Our goal is to support three of our Nepali partners – Care Women Nepal, CONCERN and NEFAD - who work with village women in eastern Nepal, children from the brick factories, and wives of those who disappeared during the Maoist insurgency (1996-2006). Many of these stakeholders were affected by the earthquake.

Eighteen months have passed since we launched this appeal and there is much to report. First, our donors continue to give. Thank you! To date, the appeal has attracted $12,349 from 142 donors. We have also raised another $30,000 for the program through other channels.

Second, the earthquake continues to drive Nepalis into poverty. For example, of the 51 children rescued from brick kilns by this program, ten came from families that lost homes in the earthquake. This left them with no option but to seek work in bricks. Sadly, much of the reconstruction aid that went to Nepal last year remains unspent because of red tape. This makes our community-based approach – and your targeted donations – that much more important.

Third, our entire team at The Advocacy Project has been intensively involved in this program. We have deployed six outstanding graduate volunteers (Peace Fellows) to the partners and visited the districts of Bardiya, Ramechhap, Dhankuta, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur in person to meet with stakeholders. This has also been a two-way partnership. From our side, AP has contributed funds and technical support. But we have taken our lead from the partners, who have provided us with extraordinary access to their work and our stakeholders. We have learned so much in the process.

Finally, there is the programmatic side. This report rounds off 18 months of hard work, and we can confirm that your donations have been spent in an exemplary fashion. But it does not stop here. Our three partners now face the challenge of sustaining and building on what they have achieved with your help. This is now well under way. We will maintain this appeal on Global Giving to anchor our future work in Nepal and look forward to reporting back to you. Your affection for Nepal and its people will keep us motivated and focussed!

a) Partner #1 – Care Women Nepal (CWN), combating uterine prolapse

CWN screens village women for uterine prolapse in the isolated eastern district of Dhankuta, and your donations have allowed CWN to screen over 3,000 women since 2015. In 2016, we funded two camps and screened 1,960 villagers, at a cost of $9,235.90. CWN’s team of volunteers (which included government specialists) identified 40 women with early prolapse and provided them with ring pessaries. Another 55 women were found to have third degree prolapse and placed on a waiting list for surgery. We funded four surgeries.

We asked our Peace Fellow, Morgan, to observe this process closely and you will get a good flavor of her conclusions through her blogs and photos. These show that any concerns about surgery are outweighed by the impact of prolapse. One beneficiary, Dhanmaya, 52, pictured in the photo below, lived with prolapse for 22 years and opted for surgery after giving birth painfully to five children (at her husband’s insistence). Morgan’s photo shows her recovering with a relative, whose presence was made possible by Care Women Nepal. CWN does what it can to make the surgery less frightening.

Later, Morgan also met with the indomitable surgeon, who even invited her to photgraph an extracted uterus. This is not for the squeamish, but shows Morgan's commitment to her subjet. She was the only undergaduate recruited for our fellowship program in 2016 and showed poise throughout.

CWN's health camps perform an indispensable role by making government services accessible to isolated villagers, but they could have more of an impact if they were more integrated into village life and the government system. The same can be said of the prolapse surgeries, which have to be performed at government district hospitals. The problem is that Dhankuta’s only trained gynecologist was transferred in 2016, whch meant that CWN's surgeries had to be squeezed into a busy schedule in another district. This is why we were only able to finance four surgeries.

Care Women Nepal needs to work without interruption throughout the year if it is to provide systematic support to the government medical services and this will require a full-time program officer to take the load off Indira, CWN’s tireless director. This is one of our three goals for 2017. The other two are to fund another health camp and support at least 15 surgeries. The cost should not exceed $12,000, and we already have over $7,000 in the CWN account.

Supporting material: Morgan's blogs and photos.

b) Partner #2 – CONCERN, combating child labor in the brick kilns

This program has allowed CONCERN to place 51 children in school since 2015. They include ten year-old Haris, pictured above. All of the children would have worked in a brick factory, in violation of the law and at grave risk to their health, if they not gone to school.

AP has helped to raise almost $13,000 for this important program through Global Giving. The Global Fund for Children contributed $5,000. Lauren, who served at CONCERN as a Peace Fellow in 2016, raised another $2,875 through her own mircroproject.

We are grateful to CONCERN for its wholehearted collaboraton. In August 2015, an AP team visited the remote district of Ramechhap, which exports families to the brick factories, and saw first-hand how poverty forces families to work in bricks. By placing their children in school, CONCERN gives parents a reason to say no to bricks and remain in their village. The AP team also met with the dedicated staff at the Panchakanya village school, where 13 children are enrolled.

In 2016, we worked at both ends of the brick traffic. Our Peace Fellow Lauren also visited Ramechhap and profiled the 13 young students for our website. She then went down into the Kathmandu valley, to the districts of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, where the rest of the students are enrolled. You can read her profiles here.

Iain from AP, followed Lauren in November after the brick-making season had started and visited three factories. We recommend his video footage, which shows children at work. The biggest problem is that the entire family is paid by the number of bricks produced, so everyone is expected to contribute. Children play an important role because their small fingers can get between the rows and flip bricks.

CONCERN’s school program project is certainly making a difference. Iain visited two of the collaborating schools, Faidoka and Suryodaya, and met with 15 children. Twelve had stopped work completely and several were getting excellent grades, but the three remaining children have been less lucky. Sanu, 11, works for two houra a day before going to school. Budhi Ram, who is pictured below, also works before school. This undoubtedly affects their academic work, but will be hard to stop completely because they live with their families in a factory.

This suggests that there is more to ending child labor than school, important though school may be. As a result, CONCERN and AP will take a more comprehensive approach in 2017. We hope to place the 51 children in school again, but if funding permits we will also organize extra tuition for the students who live in the factories to help with their homework. CONCERN will also work with seven progressive factory owners to improve living conditions in their factories. Iain met with one owner who has built a dormitory for his workers, installed water and put up a day-care center for infants - all at CONCERN’s urging. We think such owners may be even more receptive because the brick industry is under growing pressure from environmentalists.

Supporting material: a) Iain’s video of children at work in the brick factories; b) Lauren’s photos and blogs; c) Profiles of the 51 children now at school; d) a recent news bulletin by AP.

c) Partner #3 - the National Network of Families of Disappeared and Missing Nepal (NEFAD)

Working through CONCERN, AP has invested $5,093.20 in wives of those who disappeared between 1996 and 2006. Of this, $500 came from our Peace Fellow Megan who worked at NEFAD in 2016 and launched her own microproject on Global Giving.

Most of the disappearances in Nepal occurred in the western district of Bardiya, and this is where we have focused our efforts. NEFAD and AP agreed at the outset that we would train around 40 wives to tell their story through embroidery – something that would be both therapeutic and develop a useful skill. This work began in 2015 with a small number of wives, but NEFAD was unable to reach Bardiya because of serious flooding, so we had to make up for lost time in 2016. Megan visited Bardiya in June and organized embroidery training for 35 women under the watchful eye of Sarita, a skilled seamstress who herself lost a father to the disappearances. The women produced powerful squares, some of which were exhibited in Kathmandu on August 30 – International Day of the Disappeared.

Iain from AP visited Bardiya in December, collected the 35 finished squares, and profiled the 35 artists. They included Gita, who commemorated her disappeared brother through a powerful image, as shown below in the photo. (Gita’s profile will be shown with the others on the AP web site). The Bardiya artists also produced a second batch of squares featuring tigers, which are native to Bardiya.

AP has brought the squares back to the US and will work with quilting gulds to assemble the squares into quilts. The memorial quilts will eventually return to Nepal, where they will help the campaign for transitional justice. The Tiger qults will hopefully be sold – with any profit going back to the artists. These women certainly need money after losing the breadwinner in the family, but it is important that any income-generation project be sustained. Nor should we forget their main goal - to find out what hapened to their loved ones.

This points to our two goals for 2017. First, sell embroidery for the wives. Second, make sure that the voices of these brave women are heard at a time when transitional justice in Nepal hangs in the balance. We argued this case in a recent opinion piece in the Kathmandu Post, whch started a discussion, and will continue to support the wives through NEFAD in 2017.

All of this points to an exciting year ahead for our partners in Nepal, for AP and for our 2017 Peace Fellows. We hope you will remain engaged!

Our warmest thanks and best wishes for the New Year.

Supporting material: a) Megan's blogs and photos; b) AP's Oped in the Kathmandu Post.

Dhanmaya recovers from prolapse surgery
Dhanmaya recovers from prolapse surgery
Budhi Ram - in school but still exposed to bricks
Budhi Ram - in school but still exposed to bricks
CONCERN's goal: to rescue children from bricks
CONCERN's goal: to rescue children from bricks
Gita remembers her brother through embroidery
Gita remembers her brother through embroidery
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Waiting to be screened at the Khoku health camp
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
Screening for uterine prolapse at the Khoku camp
Ratna Shrestha, relieved after her operation
Ratna Shrestha, relieved after her operation
Buddhi, 8, one of 60 kids rescued from bricks
Buddhi, 8, one of 60 kids rescued from bricks
Sarita lost a father and trains wives to embroider
Sarita lost a father and trains wives to embroider
Peace Fellow Morgan at the Khoku health camp
Peace Fellow Morgan at the Khoku health camp
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Eldery beneficiary at the recent CWN health camp
Eldery beneficiary at the recent CWN health camp

2,040 Nepali villagers have been screened for prolapse with your help!

This is our fourth report on the Nepal appeal that we launched through Global Giving in June last year following the earthquakes. The money is helping three partner organizations in Nepal which work with marginalized Nepalis hard hit by the quakes - village women seeking medical care in remote eastern Nepal; children who work in the brick kilns; and wives of those who disappeared during Nepal’s internal armed conflict.

Up to now we have raised $11,824 through 128 donors, bringing us close to our target of $15,000. Two Peace Fellows (graduate volunteers) raised another $1,500 for the appeal last year.

We focus in this report on the work of Care Women Nepal, which screens village women for uterine prolapse in eastern Nepal. You helped to fund one CWN health camp last year and we are pleased to report that Global Giving has awarded $20,000 to CWN, to hold two more camps this year. CWN organized one of the camps recently in Dhankuta district. To date, your support has allowed CWN to provide medical care for 2,040 vulnerable Nepalis over the past year, including the elderly woman pictured in the powerful photo above. Thank you!

Your donation also helped our second partner, CONCERN, to rescue 25 children from the brick kilns last year. On the basis of that, the Global Fund for Children has awarded CONCERN $5,000 to place another 25 child workers in school this year. Our third partner, the National Network of Families of Disappeared and Missing Nepal (NEFAD), plans to spend what is left of its Global Giving donations this coming summer.

We are encourged by these results and will be sending another 3 Peace Fellows to help these three partners manage their funds and tell their story, starting in June. Fellows will also post personal fundraisers through our new (AP) page on Global Giving. You can meet our 2016 Fellows at this page.

In the meantime, this appeal will remain open and we will be very grateful for new contributions.

a) Partner #1 – Care Women Nepal (CWN), combating uterine prolapse

Using funds from Global Giving, Care Women Nepal organized a health camp in the village of Chulachuli, in the eastern district of Dhankuta between April 30 and May 1. The camp attracted 1,035 villagers, almost all of them women. Some were so old and sick that they had to be carried (photo).

Once admitted, they received expert attention from a team of health workers, doctors and nurses, who volunteered their time and screened all 1,035 arrivals. The team offered 10 different services, including free medecine, ultrasound and eye check-ups. They also screened 335 women for uterine prolapse, and gave out 15 ring pessaries.Thirty five of these women were found to have serious prolapse and will undergo surgery at Dharan hospital on June 20. CWN is led by the dynamic Indira Thapa, pictured in the photo with beneficiaries at the Chulachuli camp.

CWN will hold a second health camp in June or July with help from Peace Fellow Morgan Moses, from Tulane University. We have also asked Morgan to collect data on prolapse and help Indira to develop a long-term plan to scale up CWN’s exciting model.

Supporting material: see our coverage of the 2015 health camp. We will shortly post photos from Chulachuli on the CWN Flickr pages.

b) Partner #2 – CONCERN, combating child labor in the brick kilns.

As noted above, the Global Fund for Children has awarded our second partner, CONCERN, $5,000 to place another 25 brick children in school this year. Peace Fellow Lauren Purcell, from Johns Hopkins University will help CONCERN to identify the children, visit schools and follow up with last year’s kids. CONCERN may even open a dialogue with brick employers, in an effort to improve living conditions in the kilns. We will introduce you to the young beneficiaries in our August report.

We hope that Lauren will also help us here at The Advocacy Project to promote CONCERN’s message among schools in the Washington area when she returns home.

Supporting material: Meet the 25 beneficiaries from 2015 on our website and view our photos from the districts of Ramechhap (which exports workers to the kilns) and Bhaktapur.

c) Partner #3 - the National Network of Families of Disappeared and Missing Nepal (NEFAD)

NEFAD’s goal this year remains as it was in 2015 – to develop the first-ever income-generating project for wives of the disappeared. So far we have sent $513 to NEFAD, leaving around $2,500 still to be transferred. Several women have produced embroidered squares, but NEFAD wants to improve the quality of the embroidery and plans to hire an expert trainer this time around.

Meanwhile, Ram Kumar Bhandari, the inspiring leader of NEFAD (who lost his own father to the disappearances) is creating a database of all Nepalis who disappeared, and lobbying the government to provide reparations to all of their families. Ram Kumar was briefly arrested recently while leading a major protest on March 24 – International Day of the Truth. (Photo).

Ram Kumar will be assisted by Peace Fellow Megan Keeling from the Fletcher School at Tufts, a former Peace Corps volunteer.

Supporting material: See our coverage of this project and 2015 photos.

Getting the eyes checked at the CWN health camp
Getting the eyes checked at the CWN health camp
CWN assists those who are truly vulnerable
CWN assists those who are truly vulnerable
Indira Thapa is committed to fighting prolapse
Indira Thapa is committed to fighting prolapse
Ram Kumar Bhandari, arrested for seeking the truth
Ram Kumar Bhandari, arrested for seeking the truth
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Dr Ramesh Shrestha recommends surgery for Ujeli
Dr Ramesh Shrestha recommends surgery for Ujeli

Third report from Nepal

This is the third report on our Nepal appeal, launched through Global Giving in June 2015. We are helping three Nepali partner organizations – Care Women Nepal, CONCERN and NEFAD - to provide essential services to three communities that have suffered greatly since the earthquake last year. These are village women in eastern Nepal who lack medical services; children who work in the brick kilns; and wives of those who disappeared during Nepal’s internal armed conflict.

To this point we have raised $11,714 for these three partners through Global Giving. Of this, $280 has been donated since our last report, in November. The money has been shared equally between the three partners and two of them – Care Women Nepal and CONCERN – have spent their allocation. The third partner, NEFAD, will receive its remaining share – roughly $2,500 – this coming summer, as explained below.

In the meantime, we will keep this appeal open and would welcome new contributions to any or all of these three deserving organizations.

This has been a very successful project. Thank you for your generosity!

a) Partner #1 – Care Women Nepal (CWN), combating uterine prolapse

Care Women Nepal used the funds from Global Giving to screen 1,005 villagers in the eastern district of Dhankuta in July, 2015. (SEE PHOTO) Later in the year, CWN also used the funds to provide surgery for 12 women with advanced prolapse. A thirteenth woman, Domar, was operated on for a massive hernia. CWN reports that the women all returned home without complications.

Based on this positive outcome, Care Women Nepal has submitted a proposal to hold two health camps this summer. We are delighted to report that Global Giving has awarded $20,000 to AP and CWN for this important project. The money will fund two camps and support CWN’s program budget through to the end of 2016. It will be managed with help from a Peace Fellow who will start work in Nepal in early June. We will inform our donors once the Fellow is selected and also direct you to the Fellow’s blogs and photos. These will provide a graphic first-hand account of the project.

Supporting material: see our coverage of the health camp and photos of the health camp and surgery beneficiaries. The photo above was taken at the 2015 camp and shows Dr Ramesh Shrestha, a gynecologist, with Ujeli, 58, who had advanced prolapse and needed surgery.

b) Partner #2 – CONCERN, combating child labor in the brick kilns

As we reported in November, our second Nepali partner CONCERN reached our goal for 2015 and sent 25 children to school who would otherwise have worked in the brick kilns. The total cost came to $4,376, of which Global Giving funds accounted for $3,155. The rest was raised by Joty Sohi, an AP Peace Fellow who volunteered at CONCERN and by a group of students in Washington led by Grace McGuire, 12.

We hope to continue this worthwhile program in 2016, and help 10 working children attend school. We are also currently recruiting a Peace Fellow to work at CONCERN for ten weeks, starting in June. We hope that the Fellow will be able to visit villages in the district of Ramechhap that send entire families to the kilns. (The second photo below shows children at the Panchakanya Primary School in Ramechhap district, which received funding through our appeal.)

We will report back to donors in our next report, and also direct you to the Fellow’s blogs and photos. Work in the kilns is dangerous, illegal, unhealthy and abusive. Some of the 25 children that we rescued last year started work in kilns at the age of three.

Supporting material: Meet the 25 children on our website and view our photos from the districts of Ramechhap (which exports workers to the kilns) and Bhaktapur.

c) Partner #3 - the National Network of Families of Disappeared and Missing Nepal (NEFAD)

This partner organization supports women whose husbands disappeared during the political violence in Nepal (1996-2006). Our goal is to help NEFAD develop an income-generating project (embroidery) for 50 wives that will enable them to learn a skill, earn an income and reinforce NEFAD's advocacy.

So far the project has transferred $513 to NEFAD, out of $3,155 raised through Global Giving. Several women have produced embroidered panels, but it has been very difficult to work with them during the past few months of political unrest. In addition, the panels are too big and unwieldy to lend themselves to an advocacy quilt.

We plan to re-invest in this very important project in 2016. We are currently recruiting a Peace Fellow to help train the women and work alongside NEFAD’s dynamic founder, Ram Kumar Bhandari. We will report back on progress in our next report and direct our donors to the Fellows’ blogs and photos during the summer.

The photo below shows Shobha Bhatta and her daughetr Sainju. Shobha's husband disappeared in 2001 at the age of 29 and was most likely killed by Maoist guerrillas. Her daughter was seven at the time. Shobha is one of the beneficiaries from our appeal and has found a renewed sense of purpose from her work with NEFAD.

Supporting material: See our coverage of this project and accompanying photos.

At the Panchakanya primary school, Ramechhap
At the Panchakanya primary school, Ramechhap
Sainju and Shobha Batta, survivors of violence
Sainju and Shobha Batta, survivors of violence
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Rescued from brick slavery: Srijana Manandhar, 7
Rescued from brick slavery: Srijana Manandhar, 7

This is the second report on our Nepal appeal, launched through Global Giving in June 2015. Working through Nepali partner organizations, we are supporting three groups that have suffered greatly during this year’s emergency – village women with prolapse, child workers and wives of the disappeared. We have shared the $10,207 raised so far between the three organizations. As you'll see below, the results are encouraging. Thank you!

a) Partner #1 – Care Women Nepal (CWN), combating uterine prolapse

Care Women Nepal has used funds from our appeal to screen 1,005 isolated villagers in the eastern district of Dhankuta and paid for 13 surgeries. This has cost around $4,000, of which $3,155 came through Global Giving. The remaining funds were raised by Maya Washington, our Peace Fellow, and by CWN’s supporters in Nepal. CWN has provided receipts and a detailed account of how funds were spent.

Uterine prolapse affects over 600,000 Nepali women and is particularly severe in mountainous districts like Dhankuta where life is grueling for women and health centers are few and far between. The second earthquake made life harder by destroying homes and disrupting services.

CWN organized a health camp in July. As we reported in August, doctors and nurses conducted 285 gynecological screenings; performed 89 ultrasounds; undertook 300 eye exams; issued free medication; and gave pessaries to 34 women with prolapse.

The health camp also identified 22 women who needed surgery. They included Domar, 57, who was suffering from an extended hernia and living in a shelter because her house had been destroyed by the earthquake. CWN took Domar to the district hospital, where she underwent an operation which may have saved her life. The two photos below show Domar with Indira Thapa, CWN’s director, before and after the operation.

In late October, CWN partnered with specialists from the Aloha Medical Mission (Honolulu) to perform surgery on 12 women who had been screened at the CWN camp and found to have untreatable prolapse. The surgeries took place at the Dhankuta government hospital.

We are deeply grateful to the Aloha Medical Mission and to the Dhankuta District medical authorities. We are also happy to report that Global Giving is awarding $20,000 to AP and CWN, to build on this year’s success and fund two health camps in 2016.

Supporting material: see our coverage of the health camp and photos of the health camp and surgery beneficiaries.

b) Partner #2 – CONCERN, combating child labor in the brick kilns

Our Global Giving funds have helped CONCERN, a leading advocate for child rights, to take 25 children out of the brick kilns and place them in school for a year. The total cost works out at $4,376 ($175 per child). Of this, $3,155 came through Global Giving. The rest was raised by Joty Sohi, an AP Peace Fellow who volunteered at CONCERN and by a group of students in Washington led by Grace McGuire, 12.

As we noted in our August report, the earthquake made it harder for Nepali children to escape the brick factories. Srijana, 7, and her family lived in temporary housing after the earthquake destroyed their house and this put additional pressure on them to work in a brick factory when the season began in October. At least Srijana is now in school (photo).

This project has laid a strong foundation for the future. Not only has it rescued children like Srijana from slavery, but CONCERN has proved to be an effective partner. The families of the children are grateful, and teachers at the two schools where the children are studying are enthusiastic. The photo below shows CONCERN’s director, Dr Bijaya Sainju, distributing school bags and uniforms at the Dattatraya Lower Secondary school in Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu.

Another positive outcome is the engagement of 140 generous individuals who have supported our appeal. We are particularly impressed by Grace and her student friends here in Washington, who raised enough to put four Nepali children through school and now want to develop their own school project on child labor.

Nonetheless, much remains to be done. Srijana may be at school, but she is still living in appalling conditions in a brick factory. As a result, we plan to pick up the pace in 2016. Together with CONCERN we hope to rescue another 100 children from brick slavery, while also pressing factory owners to improve living conditions in the kilns. We will continue to seek funding for this important project through Global Giving.

Supporting material: Meet the 25 children on our website and view our photos from the districts of Ramechhap (which exports workers to the kilns) and Bhaktapur.

c) Partner #3 - the National Network of Families of Disappeared and Missing Nepal (NEFAD)

This project seeks to help women whose husbands disappeared during the political violence in Nepal (1996-2006). At NEFAD’s request, we are funding 50 wives to produce embroidery that commemorates their missing husbands. This will bring them some money and help their advocacy. Several wives exhibited their embroidery in Kathmandu on August 31 - the International Day of the Disappeared.

The project has already enabled 23 women to start embroidering panels.  We have already received panels from three women, two of whom are pictured below.  The remaining 20 wives are in the district of Bardiya, which has been under a virtual state of siege following violent clashes in September.  We will continue to sponsor wives of the disappeared in 2016 and help NEFAD become a strong advocate for families of the disappeared in Nepal. 

Supporting material: See our coverage of this project and accompanying photos.

Domar and Indira Thapa before Domar's surgery
Domar and Indira Thapa before Domar's surgery
Domar and Indira Thapa after Domar's surgery
Domar and Indira Thapa after Domar's surgery
Wives of the disappeared: Mankumar and Durga
Wives of the disappeared: Mankumar and Durga
Dr Sainju from CONCERN distributes school supplies
Dr Sainju from CONCERN distributes school supplies
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Organization Information

The Advocacy Project

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AdvocacyProject
Project Leader:
Iain Guest
Washington, DC United States

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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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