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Philanthropy for Equitable Justice and Peace

by Tewa
Philanthropy for Equitable Justice and Peace
Philanthropy for Equitable Justice and Peace
Philanthropy for Equitable Justice and Peace
Philanthropy for Equitable Justice and Peace
Philanthropy for Equitable Justice and Peace
Philanthropy for Equitable Justice and Peace
Fig- Anita Gothe smiling at the camera
Fig- Anita Gothe smiling at the camera

Anita from Bhaktapur had neurological disorder and was also suffering from psychological problem. Twelve years ago when she had a seizure due to epilepsy, she fell down over a heater and burnt the left side of her face. After that,she remained confined within her home, not getting along with others. Since then, anxiety, stress and fear of meeting people started to grow in her. She had epilepsy from her childhood but was only provided with traditional treatment. After a long time, she was taken to hospital for proper treatment. This improved her neurological problem but psychological problem remained the same. She used to knit caps and sweaters but as her condition weakened, she lost her interest in the activities she once used to enjoy and stopped visiting community center in Bhaktapur.

Aapangata Adhikar ka lagi Mahila Samuha, one of the grantee partners of Tewa approached Anita to enroll her into Peer Support Project and was provided 6-months service on counselling and therapy sessions. When Anita first came for the peer support, she had a glossophobia and could not speak during the first few months. Gradually she started to develop her confidence and started communicating with people. After a series of counseling sessions with psychologist and her peers, Anita developed an easiness to talk with people around and rejoined the community based rehabilitation center (CRB) in Bhaktapur. She participated in trainings and other programs run by this center. She was observed very active in group exercise and interacted boldly with trainers. She was also supporting visually impaired participants to move around in a hall. She performed a role play with others and expressed her opinion. Anita has shown shift on positive changes, transforming herself to confident and independent woman.

Attendees of the Musical Fundraising Event
Attendees of the Musical Fundraising Event

Can you believe it? Fundraising within a fundraising event?

The staff of Tewa organized few fun games and unique ideas to raise funds during their bi-annual fundraising musical event. Tewa organized a Musical Fundraising Event in collaboration with Ek Ek Paila featuring the local band "The Blue Fret", Navneet Aditya Waiba, Vivek Lama and Word Warriors. With the theme, "Music for Health" this fundraising event was organized to enhance the health condition in Nepal through grants and services.

The event was successfully organized in presence of more than 500 people from a diverse background who came to enjoy this tradition with a modern blend of music. Along with music, people also enjoyed food and games. The staff of Tewa came up with the idea to raise funds and have some fun during the event itself. So before the main event started, the guests were involved in different activities. Few of the main attractions of the event were a photo exhibition, photo booth, guess the chocolates and Fish Cup game. All the prizes for the games were sponsored.

Guess the chocolate game was introduced to guests in the entry point where interested can guess the chocolate in the bottle by paying NRs 5/- (USD 0.05). The second game is fish cup where the cups were filled with water and participant had to throw tennis balls in the cup. Out of 15 cups, those who score more than 8 wins exciting gift hampers. To participate in the game, one had to pay NRs 25/- (USD 0.25). The third one is a photo booth. Those interested could pay NRs 50/- (USD 0.50) to click a picture in front of Tewa's checkerboard by using different props. The pictures would be sent to the guests via email. By using simple yet exciting ideas, a small amount of fund was raised through these games.

We successfully raised more than USD 5,000/- from the musical event. Without our volunteers, grantee partners, staff, Board and General Members, and supporters, this event wouldn't have been successful. Their constant support and contribution had always helped us make our events successful and we must say more than 6000 local individual donors to Tewa till date are the pioneers of our success.

A girl trying to score the cups.
A girl trying to score the cups.
Our supporters going through the Photo Exhibition
Our supporters going through the Photo Exhibition
Posing at the camera: Photo Booth
Posing at the camera: Photo Booth
The Blue Fret band performance
The Blue Fret band performance
Members of Mahila Adhikar Manch during a training
Members of Mahila Adhikar Manch during a training

Tewa, as a women's fund of Nepal, aims to support the women's organizations to implement their project that would benefit the lives of women and the community. Our grantmaking work has always put forward the issues of women as per the need of our grantee partners which is why we have successfully reached 500 women organizations on Nepal.

One of the grantee partners organizations in the Terai belt of Nepal, "Mahila Adhikar Manch" established in 2009 AD is working to provide women with their fundamental rights without any barriers. In the Dhanusha district, most of the local women are beaten by their husband due to excess use of alcohol. The practice of early marriage, polygamy, and dowry are some of the main causes of more women being violated.  The women literacy rate of the district is very less and are forbidden to continue their education. They consider women to remain inside the four walls doing household chores and have a false belief that education for women is the waste of time. With this disbelief, the majority of women in this region are uneducated. In order to improve the status of women education the organization works on providing counseling and measures to become aware of the importance of education in human life. The organization aims to work on gender-based issues and women rights issues.

 The organization has been playing a magnificent role in changing the status of women in Dhanusha district. Their main focus has been in issues related to a social problem, family problem. The organization provides counseling that consults with such issues with the violence survivors.  They make women feel comfortable in understanding each other’s problems and learn to cooperate together for creating women rights awareness.  The organization is working for the empowerment of the victim women with the support of various other organizations. They have conducted programs on Mahilako Shaktikaran (Women Empowerment) that taught women to fight for self-protection. They have actively participated in an awareness program for the right to education and women rights-based issues.  The organization encourages women to take part in politics to make women leading the community. They motivate violence survivor women to stand for self-defense and raise voices for their rights. The organization is also spreading awareness of human rights, child rights to the people of the community so that the environment of the place gradually changes. Further, women violation would slowly decrease if the huge mass of people will be aware of and understand the importance of equity.

Tewa supports women's organizations with vision and those having the urge to bring about the change in society. Mahila Adhikar Manch has been working to change the lives of women in Dhanusha district. For the exceptional work they are doing, the Nepal Feminists and CBOs have awarded it with USD 1000/-. This organization in collaboration with other community organizations have developed a loose network in that area to support and learn from one another.

The president receiving the award.
The president receiving the award.
Nikiba (2nd from right) with new batch volunteers
Nikiba (2nd from right) with new batch volunteers

Operating as the only women's fund in Nepal, Tewa runs with the basic philosophy of community philanthropy. Tewa practices different approaches to engage community people for building their capacities and share ownership. One of the main program through which we transfer our practices of community philanthropy is Volunteer's Training. We organize volunteer's training twice a year to share our experience and learnings of community philanthropy and help capacitate our volunteers.

Most of the participants in the training are homemakers who have the willingness of doing something for the community. After the training, we see no. of changes in behavioral aspect within our volunteers.

Currently working as a staff of Tewa, Nikiba Pradhan Maharjan is a volunteer of the 42nd batch training program. Nikiba is working as a program officer and leads one of our program Young Women leadership. She also looks after our other core programs i.e. Volunteers Mobilization and Children's Program. Back in 2016, she was a homemaker who was unaware of the women's issues. The community had an existing women's groups. With the request from the members of the group, Nikiba was selected as a Vice-Chairperson of that group. She got exposure and started to work for the community. In this duration, she came to know about the volunteer's training through one of the community members.

After attending the three days volunteer's training, Nikiba came to know about the status of women in Nepal and that her voice matters. Then she started sharing her learnings in her community. For constant dedication and seeing her grow, Nikiba was awarded an appreciation award on international Volunteer's Day 2016 organized by Tewa. Eventually, she got involved in different events and programs of Tewa. Nikiba was selected as a program officer at Tewa to handle the programs Young Women Leadership, Volunteer's Mobilization, and Children's Program.

During the two years of time, we can see a lot of change in Nikiba. She is leading ten young mentees from this community to raise awareness and build a movement on Polygamy. She mobilizes the young women leaders to help build their capacity and also organize different programs relating to the issues of polygamy. It was a challenging task for her because the community people have conservative mindsets. Nikiba tried her best to defy all these obstacles and initiated the movement. She has already coordinated with local level government and they have agreed to work together with us.

Nikiba says, "I am thankful to Tewa for providing me with this opportunity. I can see the changes within me. I believe that I am also capable of bringing change in the society."

Young leaders of YWL program mentored by Nikiba
Young leaders of YWL program mentored by Nikiba
Nikiba (2nd from right) on protest rally on VAW
Nikiba (2nd from right) on protest rally on VAW

Links:

Visit to Sirjanshil Mahila Samaj, Goldhunga
Visit to Sirjanshil Mahila Samaj, Goldhunga

Women in Nepal are generally seen as subordinates to men. It has never been easy for women in Nepal as it is a predominantly patriarchal society. To the north of Kathmandu, in Dharmasthali, lies a small village known as Goldhunga. The context of women living there is no different from most of the other women in Nepal. Apart from societal and cultural boundaries, the natural disaster has a greater impact on those sections of the population, in all countries, that are most reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods and/or who have the least capacity to respond natural hazards, such as droughts, landslides, and floods. Natural disasters have always brought difficult times to the community, leaving women vulnerable to gender-based violence, however, this type of violence is also linked to cultural stereotypes and a lack of knowledge on women's issues and women rights.

The 2015 Earthquake of 7.8 Richter scale affected most of the communities of Nepal. On July 2015, women in Goldhunga gathered together to have an informal discussion on relief, service and women's right. Taking this as an opportunity, volunteers of Tewa working at Dharmasthali during Shadow barefoot Volunteers Program encouraged them to form a women's group. Thus, Sirjansheel Mahila Samaj was formed. The founder came to know about Tewa through one of the volunteers and inspired by the work of Tewa as well as the work the volunteer herself is doing for the community, she in collaboration with other community women founded this organization. Unfortunately, the founder lost her life in an accident and the organization became stranded. The organization was on the verge of collapsing when Tewa got its back. Through many meetings and consultation, the organization emerged like a phoenix and is working immensely.

Sirjansheel Mahila Samaj, Goldhunga, an organization initiated in 2016 has been doing intensive work in the field of women empowerment through entrepreneurship development. With more than 75 women members, this organization is taking on the women issues of the community and empowering them by providing different entrepreneurship training on sewing, basic computer course, pickle making, and anchoring.

This organization got its first grant from Tewa in FY 2016/2017. Centering predominantly on economic empowerment for durable development of women, the group's first project on the concept of soap making has created job employment for the women in the community and these women have been able to enjoy the rights of the resources earned by their hard work.

The president of the organization says, "The earthquake on April 25, 2015, was a dark day for us but it has brought hopes in the lives of Nepali women to do something better for the community". She adds, "Women's social, economic, and political position in society makes us more vulnerable to natural hazards. We are not helpless victims. Women are important agents for change and need to be further strengthened as such. Furthermore, from the earthquake, we learned that self-reliance is the most important key factor for success. Now, Sirjansheel Mahila Samaj knows the essence of self-reliance and hence the organization is doing a small level of local fundraising following Tewa's model.”

From the learnings of Tewa, this organization started to develop community philanthropy within their community. It started with collecting unused but usable items and selling them to people at a very low price or donating them to people in need. There is much exemplary work this organization has done. They also initiated a lottery ticket program a few years ago and the funds raised through this event was later donated to support an organization of differently abled people. This organization is not only growing themselves but also helping other emerging organizations grow as well.

Apart from community philanthropy, Sirjansheel works in different sectors for empowering the community focusing mainly on women. They have been running informal classes to 25 women from their community. They have also organized free health camps and sessions on gender and violence to the women of their community. Emerging as a small organization led by a local group of women, it has advanced very swiftly in a short period of time.

 

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Organization Information

Tewa

Location: Lalitpur, Nepal - Nepal
Website:
Project Leader:
Urmila Shrestha
Lalitpur, Nepal
* This project is competing for bonus prizes
through the Year End Campaign 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

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